5 Requirements for Suing for Medical Malpractice

Some cases of medical malpractice are obvious and there is a clear-cut case for compensation. A patient may have received the wrong treatment in the hospital, the wrong organ was removed, or the wrong medication was given that resulted in severe illness or death.

Other cases are harder to prove, so there are requirements that attorneys must meet before a medical malpractice claim can be successful. If your case meets these requirements, then you can receive compensation for damages due to medical malpractice.

Establish Relationship

When you sue a doctor for malpractice, you must be able to establish a relationship with him or her. If it is a doctor you’ve been seeing for regular treatments, then the relationship will be easy to establish.

If it is someone on a hospital’s staff that is treating you after an accident or medical crisis, then establishing a relationship is harder to do. Without a relationship between you and a doctor, then a case of malpractice can be more difficult to prove.

Provider was Negligent

There must be negligence on the part of the doctor for you to recover compensation from any medical complications or damages resulting from treatments. To prove negligence, it must be shown that the doctor breached their “duty of care.”

Duty of care refers to the standard of reasonable care that a competent physician would provide a patient under the same circumstances. If another doctor wouldn’t have given the patient the same treatment or care, then negligence may be established.

Harm was Caused by Negligence

Another part of proving malpractice is showing that negligence by the treating physician was responsible for the harm or injury suffered by the patient.

If a doctor misread a chart and ordered the wrong medication, an allergic reaction resulting in harm to the patient could help establish the doctor’s negligence. 

According to Schrager & Sachs, if a physician doesn’t meet their duty of care, then he or she can be held accountable for the harm they caused.

Harm Must Led to Damages

Even if it can be established that the doctor did not meet the standards of care, but no damage occurred, then the doctor cannot be sued for medical malpractice. The patient must suffer some type of harm before they can sue for malpractice. 

The types of damages that can be sued for are:

  • Mental anguish
  • Pain
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of the ability to earn a living
  • Incurring more medical bills

File in a Timely Manner

Another requirement to successfully sue for malpractice is filing a lawsuit before the state’s statute of limitations expires. Each state has different statute of limitations by which an attorney must file a claim.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years. However, the two years doesn’t begin until the patient is aware of or should have been reasonably be aware of, the damages they’ve suffered.

If you think you have a medical malpractice case, contact a law firm that specializes in them, so they can help you establish negligence and any damages you suffered. An excellent lawyer can help you win compensation for any damages that you deserve.