Not every medical complication or injury is caused by negligent medical treatment, but sometimes they are and how do you know how to tell the difference? Somerset County medical malpractice attorneys know that medical malpractice cases are complicated and a large number of them go unreported. Patients are often afraid to question medical professionals because they do not want to offend them or they think that they may not get a straight answer from medical professionals anyway.
Another reason people do not file medical malpractice claims is that they do not know how they would discover what negligence may have taken place and how they could prove it. When medical malpractice results in death, often family members are too consumed with grief and preparing for the future without their loved one to consider taking on anything more, especially a lawsuit. Medical malpractice experts at SMT Legal understand how daunting these cases may seem, but a good attorney will do the heavy lifting by conducting necessary investigations, reviewing medical records, and hiring medical experts to build their client’s case in order to prove medical negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Proving medical malpractice
In order to prove medical malpractice, three elements must be satisfied:
- The first is to establish a doctor patient relationship and duty of care.
- Once it is established that the medical professional owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the second element is to prove that the medical professional breached his or her duty of care. This can be proved by showing that the medical professional’s conduct fell below the applicable standard of care which is measured by the level of care practiced by other similarly educated professionals in the same area of practice. When a medical professional’s practice falls below the acceptable standard of care, you have medical negligence and breach of duty.
- Finally, it must be proven that medical negligence was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Types of medical malpractice
Medical negligence can occur in any number of ways at any phase of treatment. See below for some examples.
- Diagnosis – Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis.
- Prescription – Prescribing harmful medicine or incorrect dosage.
- Treatment – When a doctor is negligent in his or her medical treatment or procedure.
- Aftercare – A doctor fails to follow up with a patient after a treatment or procedure and the patient is injured as a result. Lack of aftercare leading to infection is a common medical malpractice scenario.
- Unsanitary conditions – Unsanitary medical facility conditions that result in a patient contracting illness, disease, or infection.
- Ignoring symptoms – When a medical professional ignores obvious patient symptoms or complaints.