When patients visit physicians for medical treatment, they have the right to expect a reasonable standard of medical care. You should not have to worry that your doctor’s actions will cause you additional harm.
Unfortunately, medical professionals occasionally behave in negligent or careless ways. When a doctor does not provide a reasonable standard of care, patients may experience long-term or serious consequences.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a physician’s negligence, you may be due significant financial compensation. Instances like these can serve as the basis for a successful medical malpractice claim.
Understandably, many malpractice victims are concerned about the costs of a legal claim. How much does it cost to sue a doctor? Read on to find out.
When you need the best legal representation available, look no further than America’s largest personal injury firm, Morgan & Morgan. Our compassionate legal experts understand what it takes to fight on behalf of medical negligence victims.
You should not have to worry about the costs and losses from an injury that you did not cause. When you’re wondering, “How much does it cost to sue a doctor?” speak with a skilled tort lawyer.
To arrange a no-cost legal consultation with the specialists at Morgan & Morgan, complete the simple contact form on our website.
Understanding Medical Negligence
Doctors owe their patients a certain professional standard of care. If a medical professional fails to provide this standard, the patient may have a valid medical negligence case.
The legal concept of “negligence” involves four distinct elements. To successfully pursue financial recovery, you will need to prove the following elements of medical negligence, discussed below.
Duty of Care
In successful tort claims, the plaintiff will need to provide evidence that the at-fault party owed them a duty of care. In medical negligence cases, the victim can usually prove this by showing that there was a doctor-patient relationship.
Medical professionals owe all their patients a duty of care. For example, patients should be able to trust that they will receive accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment.
Breach of Duty
To prove medical negligence, the victim must show that the physician in question failed to fulfill their professional duty. A breach of medical duty can take many forms.
Doctors are required to “do no harm” to their patients. Because they are experts and specialists, physicians are held to a high standard of behavior.
Breaches of duty can be either intentional or accidental. Some of the most common breaches of duty in medical negligence cases include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Failing to know the patient’s current medicinal routine
- Prescribing medication in the wrong dose
- Administering the wrong drug or compound
- Failure to provide a diagnosis
- Misdiagnosing a medical condition
- Misreading or failing to account for lab results
- Failure to warn the patient of any possible risks
- Prematurely discharging someone after a treatment
Some types of medical breaches of duty are especially severe. If a surgeon is negligent, the outcome can be dire.
To show that a doctor was medically negligent, the plaintiff must prove that the breach of duty was the direct or close cause of the harm that they suffered. If the breach of duty was not the reason for the damages, the victim cannot pursue compensation.
In other words, there must be a clear causal line between the inadequate medical care and the resulting injury. Suppose that you sustained a broken arm. In this case, the standard practice would be to take an X-ray and set the bones back in place. The physician should also put a cast on your arm to encourage healing.
If the physician improperly set your arm or failed to provide a cast, this breach of duty could cause ongoing problems. A skilled legal professional will review the facts of your case to help you prove causation.
Even if the physician breached their duty of care, the plaintiff needs to show that the negligent behavior caused actual harm. If the medical error did not cause any damage, the victim will be unable to recover compensation.
Perhaps your physician diagnosed you with the flu, but you only had a common cold. If the doctor prescribed medicine that made your condition better, you didn’t sustain any harm.
Speak with a tort lawyer for help proving medical negligence in your case. The accomplished experts at Morgan & Morgan have plenty of experience representing victims in medical malpractice lawsuits.