The first red flag in any case of medical malpractice should be the well-being of the patient and how much the mistake in diagnosis or treatment has impacted them. Eventually, as the hospital bills stack up, you might begin to wonder if this was a case of medical malpractice that you could be compensated for.
What is Medical Malpractice Exactly?
There is more to a viable claim of malpractice than just a mistake by a health care facility or professional. Different elements must be in place that can be backed up by evidence and testimony by the plaintiff, here is a little look at the pieces needed:
- Existence of a doctor/patient relationship
- A breach of the standard of care that amounts to medical negligence, meaning that the provision of care (including decisions, treatment, and the failure to treat) fell below the accepted medical standard of care
- Causal connection between the health care provider’s medical negligence and the patient’s harm
- Results in the quantifiable harm (damages) to the patient
What You Should Be Asking an Attorney
Because of the nature of these cases, many malpractice attorneys take these cases on a contingency fee basis. That’s one worry covered. If you’re thinking about talking to an attorney about a potential medical malpractice case, there are many more questions that you might have but if you don’t know where to start there are a few big ones:
- If I traveled to another state for medical treatment can I file a malpractice suit in my home state, or do I need to file in the state where I received treatment? Can you represent me in the other state?
- Is there a time limit on filing medical malpractice lawsuits? Can I still file one if I didn’t know about my doctor’s mistake until years after I was treated?