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Medical Malpractice: How to Back Up Your Claim

Medical malpractice makes up a full 15% of all personal injury claims in the United States. But before you can take your case to court, you need to make sure you have one to begin with. How can you make sure you have all the information and evidence you need to back up your claim?

Keep reading to find out what you need to make your case.

Medical Malpractice Defined

Medical malpractice happens whenever a patient gets harmed by a doctor or other medical professional because they didn’t do their job correctly.

Rules regarding medical malpractice claims vary from one state to another. In Idaho, specifically, you must make your claim within two years of the medical malpractice incident.

The following are some common types of medical malpractice claims. See if your case fits one of these common descriptions.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Improper treatment: For most people, this is probably the first kind of medical malpractice that comes to mind. Improper treatment occurs when a doctor treats a patient in a way that no good doctor would. The doctor may carelessly use the wrong treatment, or they may administer treatment incompetently.

Failure to diagnose: Similarly, a doctor may make the wrong diagnoses for symptoms that any qualified doctor would have recognized. If a competent doctor would have made a truer diagnosis which would have lead to a better outcome than the one achieved, this would count as a failure to diagnose.

Failure to warn the patient of all known risks: Before administering any treatment or prescribing any medicine, it’s every doctor’s duty to ensure the patient is aware of all known risks involved. If the doctor fails to warn the patient about potential risks before treating them, the patient will have been operated on without informed consent.

Now that you’re familiar of the more common types of medical malpractice claims, below you’ll learn about basic requirements to file a claim.

Basic Requirements to File a Claim

In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, you need to have evidence for the following conditions.

You had a doctor-patient relationship: This one shouldn’t be difficult to prove. It just means that you had truly hired the doctor to practice on you, and the doctor had agreed to be hired.

The doctor truly neglected his duties: The fact that you aren’t satisfied with a doctor’s performance or results isn’t necessarily grounds for a lawsuit. To be qualified as malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor was negligent in connection with your treatment. There must be a way to demonstrate that a competent doctor in the same circumstance would have ensured a better outcome. To determine this, it’s important to have a qualified medical expert with whom you can consult to discover how the doctor’s treatments fell short of standard medical care.

The injury in question was caused by the doctor’s negligence: This can be a tricky one to prove because most patients are already sick or injured prior to having the doctor practice on them. This makes it difficult to prove that the injury was due to the doctor’s negligence, and not the illness or injury itself. As such, it’s usually necessary to have medical experts testify that it is “more likely than not” that the patient’s condition was caused or worsened by the doctor’s incompetence.

The injury in question led to specific damages: Obviously the patient cannot sue for malpractice if the patient hasn’t experienced any harm, even if the doctor did indeed perform below medical standards. While not all perceived “damages” can be sued for, the following can be:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Unnecessary medical expenses
  • Missed work
  • Lost earning capacity

With the help of a competent personal injury attorney, you should be able to take your case to court and get the compensation you deserve. Rely on the guidance of Rossman Law to help build your medical malpractice case.