The Basic Elements of Medical Malpractice

When a medical professional’s actions deviate from standard medical practice and results in the injury or illness of a patient, this is medical malpractice. If you suffered damages due to a medical error, you may be entitled to compensation. Deciding whether you have a case involves understanding the elements that make up a medical malpractice case.

Breach of Duty

Doctors and other medical professionals have an obligation to their patients, known as a duty of care. They are held up to the standards of other medical professionals in the same area with similar backgrounds and education.

Examples of potential medical malpractice cases include:

  • A doctor prescribing the wrong medication or dose
  • A doctor incorrectly diagnosing a patient
  • A surgeon leaving gauze or tools inside the patient’s body
  • A physician missing symptoms of a condition

Breach of duty does not necessarily mean that a physician acted maliciously. What matters is if you suffered an illness or injury because of the mistake.

Injuries Due to Negligence

To be found liable in a medical malpractice case, you have to prove that your injuries were caused by the doctor’s negligence. If a doctor acts negligently, but you do not suffer any injuries or illness because of it, then you cannot file a medical malpractice claim.

Your lawyer will help you to put together the evidence to show a connection between negligence and injuries. The defendant’s lawyer may try to argue that your other health conditions caused your injury, rather than the doctor’s performance. A lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, can look at your medical history and develop a strategy.

Qualified Damages

To win your case, you need to prove damages. The injuries or illness have to have a negative impact on your life and have some form of monetary value.

Damages that you may have sustained include:

  • Lost wages
  • Corrective treatments and surgeries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life

When it comes to tangible losses, it is easier to prove what your damages are worth. However, general damages, such as pain and suffering and diminished quality of life can be more difficult to calculate. Medical malpractice lawyers understand what goes into calculating general damages and can calculate what your case is worth.

Contact an Attorney 

Have you suffered an injury or illness because of a medical mistake? Preparing for a case is easier when you have a lawyer on your side. Contact as soon as possible to evaluate your case.