At times, medical malpractice can be a hazy and complicated area of personal injury law. At times, complications in medical procedures can occur that do not necessarily put medical professionals at fault according to the legal standards. So how do you know for sure if you have been a victim of true medical malpractice? Here is a list of circumstances which will help you to identify if your claim has the requirements to make a good case.
An Initial Mutual Agreement Between Doctor and Patient
In order for a case to be made, an official relationship must be recorded between the medical professional and their patient. This relationship is the foundation upon which most cases must be built. The first question to ask yourself is whether the relationship you had with your doctor is on record as being official, or whether you just received some bad advice from a doctor in a nonofficial capacity.
The Medical Professional Has Broken Protocol
The area of malpractice is almost entirely dependent upon common medical procedure. Correct procedure or protocol in medicine is based upon a set of standards that every other professional in the field of medicine in question adheres to. You have a true case if your doctor did something that no other professional in their field would have done. Alternatively, you also have a case if the doctor neglected to do something that any other professional would have done. A person will likely not have a case if the injury was caused in a situation where all of the protocols were being followed.
Oftentimes, this failure to follow protocol results in one of a few common scenarios. These scenarios include the doctor failing to diagnose a disease or injury that any other professional would have diagnosed, neglecting to inform the patient of any risks associated with the procedure, failure to acquire written consent for a procedure, or improperly treating a patient by using an incorrect treatment or by performing the correct treatment improperly. As always, these areas must always be judged by the common standards of other doctors in the field to be considered a solid case.
Deviation From Common Protocol Caused the Injury
In true cases, it isn’t enough to simply identify an area of incompetence, you have to have proof that the incompetence caused the injury. For instance, a receptionist in a medical office cannot be sued for medical malpractice simply by annoying her patients with ineptitude. The incompetency has to actually be linked to real harm to the patient, and the harm must be linked to specific consequences. These areas of consequences include but are not limited to physical pain, mental pain, additional expense to the patient to remedy the injury, or loss of the ability to go to work or function normally.
If, after reading these guidelines, you still are not sure you have a case, it is always helpful to acquire the assistance of an attorney. They can help you navigate the complex labyrinth of the fields of law and medicine to help you determine if you have a true situation of medical malpractice.