Medical malpractice cases are based on injuries that could have been avoided. It indicates negligence because of a lack of training, a lower standard of care, or gross incompetence. Hospitals must provide patients with doctors that have the correct training for performing surgeries and providing treatment for their patients. Medical malpractice encompasses a variety of probabilities that cause a patient-related injury. Federal laws require all doctors to provide a high standard of care, or the doctor could be liable for injuries the patient sustains. Reviewing what to expect from medical malpractice cases show patients how to start a legal claim.
How Did the Doctor Injury the Patient?
Defining the nature of the medical malpractice determines what type of injury to expect. These cases are often based on a surgical injury, administering the wrong medication, and using outdated testing or treatments. A medical malpractice exists if the patient sustains an injury, their condition worsens, or if they die because of a poor standard of healthcare. Patients can learn more about medical malpractice by contacting Nashville injury attorneys right now.
Did the Patient Get a Second Opinion?
A second opinion is vital to determine if the doctor could have provided a safer and more effective treatment for the patient. It also helps the patient generate additional medical records that show the proper treatment for their illness or corrective procedures to remedy their injuries whenever possible.
Were All the Risks Presented to the Patient?
The doctor must present all risks to the patient before performing any surgical procedure, and they must provide information about risks or side effects when prescribing medication for any illness. If the risks were not disclosed to the patient before surgery, and the patient was injured, the doctor is liable for the patient’s injuries.
If the doctor performed surgery without the patient’s permission, they are guilty of negligence, and any injuries that resulted from the procedure present the patient with a viable case against the doctor. Even in emergent circumstances, the doctor must have the patient’s permission or consent from their next of kin to perform surgeries beyond the procedure disclosed to the patient.
Gathering the Patient’s Medical Files
Medical files are a necessary part of proving medical malpractice, and the patient will need to get a copy of all their medical files pertaining to their injuries. The hospital or doctor cannot refuse to release these documents if the patient requested copies. Their attorney may file a motion to get surgical records that show each doctor or nurse that provided care for the patient. The records must show that the defendant caused the patient’s injuries and acted out of negligence. The injuries cannot be just an unfortunate accident or an outcome that was disclosed to the patient previously.
Securing a Medical Witness for the Claim
A doctor who has the same credentials as the defendant offers testimony about the patient’s injuries or condition. They show where the defendant made their medical error and a different course of action that could prevent the patient from sustaining injuries.
The doctor also explains how the injuries affect the patient’s life, and if the injuries produced a disability, they discuss how the injuries prevent the patient from supporting themselves financially. The medical witness must substantiate the patient’s claim against their doctor and prove that the defendant was liable for the patient’s injuries.
A Complete Record of Out-of-Pocket Costs for the Patient
Any out of pocket expenses incurred by the patient are added to the patient’s claim. If they paid for any medical services related to their injuries, the patient may get the money back in a legal claim. It is necessary to collect receipts and invoices for all these medical expenses when calculating the patient’s financial losses.
If the patient will have ongoing expenses related to their injuries, the patient will need to get an estimate for projected medical costs from the doctor treating their injuries. The cost of any treatments related to their injuries must be added to their legal claim to provide a more accurate total for their economic losses.
Did the Patient Lose Wages?
If the patient lost any wages, they will need an income statement from their employer that shows exactly how much they lost. The document must provide their hourly wage or salary, and the employer must provide details about the patient’s work schedule. These details show how much the patient lost because of their medical injuries.
If they are unable to return to work, the legal claim must include the total wages they will lose because of their injuries. If they developed a disabled, the court needs a total estimate for lifetime earnings for the patient. This shows how much the patient won’t receive because of their medical injuries.
What are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are designed to punish the doctor for their negligence, and the court calculates these damages according to how severe the patient’s injuries are. If the doctor committed a crime, they could face a criminal case in addition to the civil lawsuit. Each case is separate, and the patient could collect from both cases. With the civil lawsuit, they might receive economic and punitive damages if they win. If the doctor is convicted of a criminal act, the patient may receive compensation through restitution.
Reviewing these probabilities shows the patient what they could receive if they win their case, or if the doctor is convicted for an act of malice. Patients must receive a higher standard of care according to federal laws. Doctors cannot discriminate against patients or reduce the standard of care based on their own personal beliefs. If a patient is injured unnecessarily during a surgical procedure or while getting treatment, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. In these cases, the hospital board may attempt to present the patient with a settlement, but it is vital for the patient to allow their attorney to speak to the hospital on their behalf. Reviewing medical malpractice laws educates the patient about their rights and shows them what to do next.