Lawrence County Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice describes any situation in which a doctor or other medical professional fails to meet the acceptable standard of care in a situation or fails to competently discharge his or her duties and harms a patient. Medical malpractice claims generally follow the same rules and framework as personal injury claims with a few exceptions. If you have suffered an injury you believe happened due to medical malpractice in Lawrence County, know what to do next to secure compensation for your losses.
Proving Medical Malpractice
A plaintiff who wishes to file a medical malpractice lawsuit must typically file a claim with the presiding medical review board before proceeding with a lawsuit. Generally, these review boards consider the evidence and witness testimony to determine whether the plaintiff has a valid claim of malpractice. The deciding factor is generally whether the defendant upheld an acceptable standard of care in the given situation. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose. This describes a doctor’s failure to accurately diagnose a patient’s condition.
Delayed diagnosis. Doctors must work diligently to provide their patients with timely diagnoses.
Medication error. Prescribing the wrong dosage or a medication to which the patient has an allergy is dangerous.
Anesthesia error. Anesthesiologists must consider a patient’s medical status and drug allergies before administering anesthesia.
Improper treatment. This could describe deviating from the accepted standard of care without justification.
Failure to warn. Patients have a right to “informed consent,” or to know the risks of any potential treatment before agreeing to it.
Gross negligence. This describes a serious error that even an untrained individual could have avoided.
“Standard of care” refers to the acceptable method of treatment for the patient’s condition. The medical community generally refers to proven techniques for treating various illnesses and ailments. If a doctor or other medical professional deviates from the generally accepted method without justification, it often constitutes malpractice.
Once the plaintiff proceeds to the lawsuit stage, there are several elements of malpractice he or she must prove to succeed in the case. Generally, these include:
- Proof of relationship. The plaintiff must be able to supply evidence that an official doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant. This means the doctor agreed to treat the patient, and the patient agreed to the doctor’s treatment.
Negligence. Next, the plaintiff must show the court how the doctor or other medical professional was negligent. This typically involves demonstrating how the defendant deviated from the acceptable standard of care for the given situation.
Causation. The plaintiff can only sue for the direct results of the defendant’s negligence. Therefore, the plaintiff must show the court that his or her damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause. This is often difficult in medical malpractice cases because symptoms of some conditions can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, and it can be difficult to ascertain when certain conditions manifested.
Actual harm. The plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant’s negligence caused some type of injury or other damage. A patient cannot sue for malpractice if he or she suffered no harm.
Winning Your Medical Malpractice Case
Patients in Lawrence County who have suffered physical pain, emotional distress, additional medical bills, and lost income can sue for these and any other damages resulting from malpractice. The attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. Attorneys at Law have experience handling complex medical malpractice cases in New Castle and throughout Lawrence County, so reach out to us at 1-800-777-4081 to schedule a free consultation. You can also visit us online for more information about our firm and the cases we have handled in the past.