Medical providers are the cornerstone to health. After all, they diagnose, treat, and cure many illnesses and diseases. Although most medical providers aim to provide the highest standard of care to all patients, there are times when things can go wrong. When this happens, it may be due to medical negligence.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional harms a patient. Misdiagnoses, improper treatment, or recklessness may all be considered medical negligence. Mistakes and other issues may also fall under medical negligence, depending on the circumstances involved.
Common Types of Medical Negligence
Many situations can lead to medical negligence claims. Some categories under medical negligence include:
- Failure to Diagnose: If the doctor did not diagnose an illness in a timely manner, that could have prevented injury or further illness, it may be considered medical negligence.
- Improper Treatment: If the doctor treats the patient wrongly, with the wrong medications or procedures, it may be considered medical negligence.
- Failure to Warn Patient of Risks: If the doctor fails to mention any risks surrounding the treatment plan, it may be considered medical negligence.
Basic Requirements for Medical Negligence Claims
In order to prove that medical negligence occurred, the patient must provide documentation. Common forms of acceptable documentation include:
- A proven doctor-patient relationship: Patients must provide documentation that there was an existing doctor-patient relationship. Medical bills, treatment forms, and doctor ordered prescriptions all count towards proving a relationship exists.
- The doctor was negligent: Patients must prove without a reasonable doubt that the doctor was in fact, negligent. Simply being unhappy with the services provided do not count. In general, patients will need to prove that the doctor caused harm or worsened a condition.
- The negligence caused injury: Patients must prove that the injury or illness was caused by or worsened by the doctor. This can be hard, but is necessary for all medical negligence cases.
- The injury led to damages: Lastly, patients must prove that the negligence led to specific damages. Physical pain, mental suffering, additional medical bills, and lost work all count.
Some medical negligence cases have very specific requirements. Before filing a claim, it is important to learn about special conditions or requirements. In general, patients must:
- Bring attention to the injury or illness quickly. Medical negligence cases often have a time restraint, typically between 6 to 12 months. Because of this, patients must quickly bring attention to their illness or injury.
- Undergo a review panel. Some cases may require an extra set of eyes. Depending on the case, patients may need to have their case reviewed by an outside review panel. This will ensure that the doctor or medical professional is actually responsible for the injury or illness.
- Expert Testimony: Oftentimes, patients will need expert testimony that concludes the doctor is responsible for the pain and suffering.
- Doctor Notice: Some cases may require that the patient inform the doctor about the medical negligence claim.
Medical negligence is a serious issue. If you believe you or a loved one are suffering from the negligence of a medical professional, act immediately.