The Basic Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Case 

If you’ve been wondering if you have a case for a medical malpractice lawyer, then chances are that you need to reach out to someone. Medical malpractice happens when a patient is harmed by a doctor or other medical professional. While various states have different rules about medical malpractice, there are some basic requirements for what causes a medical malpractice case. Needle & Ellenberg have put together a list of what it takes to have a medical malpractice case. 

A Doctor-Patient Relationship

Before anything, there has to be a relationship between you and the doctor you are trying to sue. There has to be proof that a relationship existed, which means you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. This means you can’t sue a doctor you overheard giving advice to someone else. It doesn’t work that way. If you began seeing a doctor and you exchanged money for their services then you could have a case. The main issue that arises is if the doctor did not treat you directly and say had a nurse do most of the work. An experienced lawyer will know the difference and know how to help you figure it out. 

The Doctor was Negligent

Negligence doesn’t just mean being unhappy with the treatment. In order for there to be a reason for malpractice, you have to show that the doctor caused you harm in some way another doctor would not have. The care you get from a doctor doesn’t have to be the best possible, but it simply has to be reasonable, skillful, and careful. If you suffered harm from a diagnosis or lack thereof.

The Negligence Caused Injury 

There has to be proof that the doctor caused injury, and it wasn’t because of something that was already existing. For example, if a diagnosis was the wrong one, and the symptoms never went away with treatment, and the doctor did nothing to correct it, then you could have a case. However, it can be hard to determine if you were already sick, to begin with. It is equally as hard to prove that death is negligent if the patient was already ill. 

The Injury Led to Specific Damages

Even if the doctor performed below the expected standards you can’t sue for malpractice if you didn’t suffer any harm. There are four common types of harm and those are: 

  • Physical Pain
  • Mental Anguish
  • Additional Medical Bills
  • Lost Work
  • Lost Earning Capacity

If you or someone you love hasn’t suffered anything, then chances are you have no case. However, if you have then you could easily talk to a lawyer about where your case stands. 

Common Types of Medical Malpractice 

If you are still asking if you have a case for a medical malpractice lawyer, then it could help to know the most common types of malpractice. Most of them fall under these three categories: 

  1. Failure to diagnose. This would mean a doctor didn’t diagnose you but a competent doctor would have. If this happened then the right diagnosis would have led to better outcomes than the one given. 
  2. Improper treatment. If the doctor administers a treatment or doesn’t and it causes you harm, then you could have a case. This could also happen if the correct treatment is given but it is done incompetently. 
  3. Failure to warn of known risks. Before anything, you should get a list of known risks for your treatment, and understand them all. If you weren’t or you didn’t get an explanation then you could have a case. 

Knowing the answer to “do I have a case for a medical malpractice lawyer?” isn’t an easy one. However, you can rest assured that at Needle & Ellenberg you will be heard. If you have more questions, reach out to one of our lawyers today to learn more about how we can help you.