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Determining Whether You Have A Case For Medical Malpractice

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Not everyone who isn't happy with the results of their treatment by a doctor or another medical professional has a case for medical malpractice. There are a few circumstances that need to be met first. Speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine whether you may have a case worth pursuing and what type of result you might expect given the evidence.

Did the Doctor Provide the Proper Care?

This means that the doctor treated you the same way most other doctors would have, given the same situation. If the doctor followed the standard treatment protocols for the condition and didn't break any laws or rules, you probably don't have a case. The most common reasons for people to hire medical malpractice lawyers include not diagnosing a medical problem or diagnosing this problem too late, prescribing or dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong amount of medication, not responding properly to signs of fetal distress in childbirth, not ordering a cesarean section when necessary, anesthesia errors and surgery errors such as leaving instruments in the body, operating on the wrong part of the body or puncturing internal organs.

Did Improper Care Result in an Injury?

Once it's been shown that a medical professional didn't properly treat a patient or was negligent, even the best medical malpractice attorneys still need to show that this caused harm or an injury that wouldn't have otherwise occurred. This doesn't just mean that the patient didn't get the result they wanted. It means that they were harmed because the medical professional didn't do what they were supposed to and that negligence caused the harm.

Were the Consequences Very Damaging?

It's very expensive to follow a medical malpractice case through to the end, so it doesn't make sense to sue unless there were major damages, such as a disabling injury, not being able to work for an extended period of time or long-term pain and suffering. The potential damages need to be worth more than the cost of the case.

There is one case in which you may be able to sue even if the doctor did a procedure perfectly and you were still injured. This is if the doctor failed to tell you ahead of time that such an injury was a potential outcome and get your informed consent. This situation would still be considered as meeting the first condition because the doctor was negligent in getting your informed consent. You might have chosen not to have the procedure performed if you knew about this potential risk.