Demystifying Medical Malpractice Claims

Did you know that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US? Research from the National Library of Medicine suggests that medical errors contribute to 251,000 deaths a year in the US, notably higher than in any other developed country. Moreover, these estimates only consider preventable deaths that occur within hospitals, indicating that the actual number of medical errors causing harm or injury, excluding fatalities, is likely much greater.

When healthcare professionals fail to provide an acceptable standard of care, harming or causing injuries to the patient, it may constitute medical malpractice. It’s a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. If you or your loved one has experienced this, knowing the basics of medical malpractice claims can help. Here’s everything you need to know.

Common Types of Malpractice

1. Surgical Errors

These include mistakes made during surgery, such as performing unnecessary procedures, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, operating on the wrong body part, etc.

2. Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

When a healthcare provider fails to accurately diagnose a patient’s condition or delays diagnosis, it can cause serious consequences, including worsening of the patient’s condition or the need for more invasive treatment.

3. Medication Errors

Mistakes in prescribing, administering, or monitoring medication result in adverse drug reactions, overdose, or other complications.

4. Birth Injuries

Negligence during childbirth can cause birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, or maternal complications.

Understanding the Legal Elements

Medical malpractice claims typically involve four legal elements that must be established to prove negligence on the part of the healthcare provider.

1.     Duty of Care

This element involves demonstrating that the medical provider owes a duty of care to the patient. This duty is established when a doctor-patient relationship exists, indicating that the healthcare professional has a legal obligation to provide competent and appropriate medical treatment.

2.     Breach of Duty

The second element requires showing that a healthcare provider breached the duty of care by not meeting the accepted standard of care. This involves comparing the provider’s actions to those of a reasonably competent healthcare professional under similar circumstances.

3.     Causation

For this element, you have to establish a causal connection between the healthcare professional’s breach of duty and the patient’s harm or injury. It must show that the provider’s negligence directly resulted in the patient’s adverse outcome.

4.     Damages

The final element requires proving that the patient suffered damages due to the healthcare provider’s negligence. This includes physical injuries, emotional distress, financial losses, and other measurable harms.

A person is having a neck painHow to Assess the Validity of a Claim

Determining whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim requires careful consideration of the facts surrounding your case. Here are some steps to help assess the validity of your claim:

1. Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Seeking advice from a qualified medical malpractice attorney is essential. At Donnelly & Warner, LLC, we have leading medical malpractice attorneys who can review the details of your case, assess the legal elements, and determine whether you have grounds for a claim.

2. Gathering Evidence

The next step includes collecting relevant medical records, diagnostic tests, and other documentation related to your treatment. This evidence can help establish the healthcare provider’s breach of duty and the resulting harm.

3. Expert Opinion

In many medical malpractice cases, expert testimony is required to form the standard of care and demonstrate how the healthcare practitioner’s actions varied from this standard. Consulting with medical professionals can provide valuable insight into the merits of your claim.

4. Statute of Limitations

It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in your state. Missing the deadline could result in the loss of your right to seek compensation for your injuries.

These legal complexities can be overwhelming, especially if you or someone you know is dealing with the aftermath of medical negligence. Hiring our medical malpractice attorneys Wayne NJ can give you the support and guidance you need. With our legal services Wayne, NJ, you can have peace of mind that your case is in reliable hands. We will carefully check the merits of your case, gather evidence, and work tirelessly to seek compensation and justice for you.

Reach out to us for a free legal consultation and take the first step towards resolving your medical malpractice claim.