When someone is the traumatized victim of negligent medical care, they have the right to sue the medical professional responsible for their injuries. If a healthcare professional fails to perform their duty to acceptable standards, they may be held liable for damages. Patients have the right to seek monetary compensation for their injuries. Family members who have lost a loved one may bring a wrongful death action against the defendant for acting in a harmful manner or failing to act at all.
Was it Medical Negligence?
Victims of medical malpractice can recover economic losses in the amount of money they spent getting medical treatment, plus non-economic damages usually including pain and suffering, or any temporary or permanent disability caused by the injury, as long as they can prove the circumstances. There are many ways that hospitals, doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals are guilty of medical negligence. Some of these are:
• Failing to properly diagnose the patient’s condition or giving an improper diagnosis.
• Surgical errors occurring when the doctor operates on the wrong body part or they make a mistake during the procedure.
• Birth injuries when doctors wait too long to deliver the baby via c-section. The baby can end up in distress and end up suffering permanent brain damage if deprived of oxygen.
• Disorganized emergency rooms making mistakes while rushing to take care of too many people.
• Administering of the wrong type of medication or incorrect dosage to a patient.
What Elements Are Required to Prove Your Case?
After a patient has filed a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice, they are referred to as the plaintiff. In some states the plaintiff may be required to present expert witness testimony. A doctor who is in a similar specialty or type of practice usually gives this testimony. Sometimes these witnesses are hard to find because they are reluctant to testify against another colleague. Our advising medical malpractice attorney in Syracuse advises that, because of this, expert witnesses may need to be found outside of the immediate geographical area where the doctor being sued practices. The plaintiff will be required to prove their case by establishing these four legal elements:
• The Patient Was Owed a Duty —The medical professional owed a legal duty to the patient to provide a reasonable standard of care because a professional relationship existed between both parties.
• Failure to Perform Duty — If the doctor failed to properly diagnose or treat the plaintiff, they can be held liable for breaching their duty.
• The Patient Was Injured — The victim must be able to show that the medical professional acted in a negligent manner, which was the direct cause of the injury.
• Damages Owed — The plaintiff is entitled to seek compensatory and punitive damages for their injuries. Actual damages are awarded for lost wages or pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be awarded to a plaintiff if the doctor acted in a willful manner, resulting in injury or death.
Wisdom of the field advises that victims should get legal advice from a malpractice attorney if they feel they have a valid medical malpractice grievance. Successfully winning this type of case is often difficult and may take time before a settlement is offered. It is important to hire an experienced malpractice attorney who can gauge the veracity of your case. Consult an attorney as soon as possible because the statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file your case.