4 Basic Parts of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Regardless of the specifics in a medical malpractice claim, there are four basic parts that are required for a lawsuit.

1. Doctor-patient relationship. If you followed some medical advice you found online and it harmed you, then you cannot sue. If your uncle told you what his doctor said about your condition and you were harmed, then you cannot sue. You had no doctor-patient relationship with these healthcare providers. In order to bring a lawsuit, you must have hired the doctor and he or she had to agree to be hired.

2. Negligence. This is often the main point in a medical malpractice claim. Your doctor's actions must have been "reasonably skillful and careful." This does not mean the *best* care, and it has nothing to do with whether you are happy about the treatment.

3. Negligence caused you harm. If you are already injured or sick, a question is raised whether the doctor's actions are the cause of the harm. For example, if you suffered a foot injury in a motorcycle accident, followed by the need for an amputation later, the question becomes whether the doctor's negligence was "more likely than not" to be the direct cause of the loss.

4. Your harm led to specific damages. If you haven't suffered harm, even if you had substandard medical care, you cannot sue. For example, you will need to prove physical pain, additional medical bills, mental anguish, or a lessened ability to work.

All of these four parts are necessary for a claim of medical malpractice, and often require the services of a medical expert. Contact our office to discuss your situation.

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