If you believe you have a potential medical malpractice claim because your doctor or hospital refused to treat you, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer right away to discuss your options. You may have a variable lawsuit.
Health care providers are trained not to harm when treating their patients. Unfortunately, countless errors occur at the hands of doctors each day. These errors can have severe consequences in many cases and may lead to lawsuits.
When pursuing a claim based on medical error, including the refusal of treatment, the injured patient must show that the physician acted negligently in rendering care, and such negligence leads to injury. To do so, the four elements of medical malpractice must be established.
- Duty of care
- Breach of the duty
- Injury caused by the breach
Duty of Care
Fundamentally, every case of malpractice must identify the professional duty of care owed to the patient. A malpractice claim will only be successful if the patient can establish their caretaker owed them that duty. It must be established that a doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and the defendant.
Breach of Duty
However, not every bad outcome during a medical procedure is due to medical negligence. In some cases, the doctor’s best efforts could still lead to a patient’s injury or death. To have a successful case, the second element of medical malpractice must be proven; it requires enough evidence to show that the professional duty was breached.
To prove that there was a breach of a doctor’s professional duty of care, you must establish that the doctor failed to exhibit the standard of care exercised by a similar doctor in that situation. Examples of breach of duty often include:
- Surgical error
- Wrong diagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failing to recognize signs and symptoms of a clinical condition.
- Prescribing the incorrect type or dosage of medicine.
- Delayed treatment
Injury is the third element needed in a medical malpractice case to make it viable in court. Your attorney must present evidence to show that you suffered damages because of the doctor’s negligence. Damages are monetary losses for the harm caused by a doctor’s negligence.
Finally, to succeed on a medical malpractice claim, you must show that the injury and damages you sustained were a result of the breach of duty. The fact that a hospital or doctor was negligent won’t alone provide you with a successful claim; there must be causation.
Common examples of losses/damages include the following:
- Lost pay
- Cost of corrective surgery
- Prescription medicine
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life