It’s something that no one wants to go through. A brief glance through the resources which Legalzoom reviews shows, however, that medical malpractice is far from uncommon. While some cases are made by those who just hope to get rich quickly off a doctor’s innocent mistakes, others are quite serious. If you are in a situation where you think that there might be a medical malpractice issue, then it is essential that you understand the basics to determine how you should proceed.
Situations Involving Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice comes up in those cases where the doctor, nurse, or other medical professional harms the patient through failure to provide adequate or proper treatment as stated in some of the resources and stated in Legalzoom reviews. Minor mistakes that do not cause harm are not considered medical malpractice. Disapproval or frustration with the results is not considered medical malpractice either. Medical malpractice requires an actual harm either through a wrongful act or failure to act with few exceptions. In most cases, this involves a misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, injuries inflicted during birth and prenatal care, prescription and medication errors, anesthesia mistakes, and surgery errors.
Requirements of the Claim
The basic requirements of the claim are fourfold. It is an elements test, which means that all three must be satisfied. These include the following
As a side note, in situations where it is not clear whether the doctor was directly responsible, the court will typically apply a preponderance of the evidence standard. This means that you as the patient must show that it is more likely than not that the doctor’s act is what caused the harm.
Making the Claim
The claim itself must be made within the period of time before the statute of limitations. While this will vary based on state, many of these statute of limitations begin running from the time that the harm was done if it is something that should have been obvious or at the time that it should have been discovered if it was not obvious. In many states, personal injury limitations apply, meaning that the patient must place the suit before two years. In some states, this period of time is as short as six months after the injury occurs.
If you believe that you have been injured and may have a medical malpractice suit, then meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will be able to get the ball rolling and ensure that you do not miss the statute of limitations if you give him enough time to get the job done.