What Is Involved In A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Have you recently been a victim of what you feel is medical malpractice? Or have you recently lost a loved one after what you think was a routine medical procedure and you feel that their doctor is to blame? Believe it or not, the criteria associated with filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is not as lenient as some people think. Medical malpractice lawsuits are generally not filed just because a doctor makes a mistake; in fact, there are specific requirements that must be met for a medical malpractice lawsuit to proceed to court or settlement talks.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

There are four main requirements when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit: there must be a doctor-patient relationship between the two parties involved, the doctor must have been negligent, the negligence lead to harm, and the injury or harm lead to specific damages. An example of a circumstance that meets these criteria could include a patient who was prescribed a medication without being told the risks. The patient then took the medication and suffered either physical or mental pain, increased medical bills or a loss of income.

What Other Requirements Must Be Met?

There are other requirements associated with medical malpractice lawsuits, although some may vary depending on state law. However, it is important to remember that medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within a short time after the injury or harm occurred. In addition, some states require that the claim be reviewed by a medical malpractice review panels and that patients give the doctor notice of a malpractice claim before filing. If a case proceeds to trial, an expert will be required to testify regarding the case.

What Damages are Available?

Should a lawsuit result in a verdict for the patient, there are three specific types of damages that can be awarded. General damages focus on the suffering that a patient went through such as physical or mental pain, loss of future earnings or the inability to enjoy life. Special damages focus on medical expenses, missed work and any specific costs associated with the injury. Punitive damages can be awarded if the doctor knew that their behavior could cause harm to the patient.

If you feel that you have been a victim of medical malpractice, consider contacting an attorney in your area like Davidson Law Center Inc. An attorney can help you determine whether or not your case qualifies for a lawsuit, and they can also discuss specific state laws regarding medical malpractice. An attorney will likely receive a percentage of the settlement or verdict should the case be decided in your favor.