Doctors and other medical professionals go through years of training to ensure the best medical care possible. After all, being admitted to the hospital is scary enough without worrying that the medical team will somehow slip up or make a mistake that could essentially ruin your life… or at least add to your stress levels. Unfortunately, that all too often happens. In fact, quite often the final results are far worse. A national study via Johns Hopkins claims medical errors and malpractice account for up to 10% of all deaths in America, making medical errors the third leading cause of nationwide fatalities. But how can you tell if you have a medical malpractice lawsuit? Well, it begins with knowing the elements needed to prove your claim.
You Can Prove an Existing Doctor-Patient Relationship
Any courtroom or judge will need documented evidence that you had a professional relationship with the medical professional being sued. This does not include simple phone conversations or general advice or suggestions passed verbally without a thorough examination. The doctor’s reputation is in question, so proof must be provided that they were treating you on an individual basis and that treatment was negligent or otherwise medically harmful. Such relationships are easy to prove.
You Can Prove the Medical Professional Was Negligent
Being unhappy with a diagnosis or disagreeing that the doctor’s treatment won’t work well for your needs or lifestyle doesn’t prove negligence. It simply means you refused to follow medical suggestions due to stubbornness or some other personal decision. And that isn’t professional negligence on the part of the physician. Proving the doctor was negligent takes some work on the behalf of the patient and attorney. But if negligence was present, it can be an obvious discovery. The patient must show evidence that the doctor’s care proved the patient harm that would have otherwise been avoided with another doctor in a similar situation. In other words, the doctor must have deviated in some way from standard care procedures.
There Must Be a Solid Link Between the Doctor’s Negligent Behavior and Some Form of Injury
A medical malpractice lawsuit usually involves patients that were already ill or injured. So proving the doctor’s lack of professionalism or poor decisions led to a negative outcome can be tricky. At this stage, the patient must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the medical professional’s incompetence during treatment directly caused or led to the injury. This can be any number of situations, but research has discovered most malpractice suits involve misdiagnosis or complications that arise because of the diagnosis. Your Michigan personal injury attorney will be able to line up professional testimonials for this part of the hearing.
There Must Be Negligence-Related Proof of Specific Patient Damages
If the doctor’s negligent behavior didn’t cause the patient harm in any way, there’s no reason for a case. Damages may include the inability to work and loss of wages, extra or unnecessary pain and suffering, and additional medical costs due to the medical negligence. Medical bills, reports from other healthcare employees, and personal income reports from the patient’s employer can all work together to prove damages were suffered. Around 95% of medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. And in most cases, it’s cheaper and far less stressful to do so. But you’ll still need the guidance and support of a competent Michigan personal injury attorney to know for sure if you have a claim.