Everyone puts their trust and faith in nurses, doctors, and other medical experts to take care of their health-related needs. Often, these professionals meet or exceed their patients’ expectations. However, there are times when medical professionals or facilities fall short of the industry’s legally-imposed responsibility to offer appropriate care and treatment. In case a mistake happens during medical diagnosis, treatment, or management of a particular health condition, the chances are that you can file a valid medical malpractice claim.
Requirements for a valid medical negligence claim
Negligence is a legal term and refers to one’s failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care that a prudent professional in the same field with the same level of training and experience would have exercised in a similar situation. It’s characterized by the failure to take the right action according to a particular standard as opposed to intentionally acting to cause harm. Generally, negligence on the part of the medical professional constitutes medical malpractice.
According to the law, when particular requirements are met, medical negligence is recognized by the legal system as a basis for specific court action. For all medical practitioners, a lawsuit can arise on account of particular actions, failure to act, or even a mistake during the diagnosis or treatment process. No matter what inaction or action leads to the medical malpractice claim, there are essential elements that must be satisfied for the claim to be valid. You should work with a reputable Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer to establish and prove each of the following elements.
A medical practitioner’s duty to offer care for the patient
In any healthcare setting, a medical expert owes a legal duty to you (patient) when he or she agrees to treat you. This duty arises the moment the physician-patient is established between you and the medical practitioner. Note that the legal duty in these types of cases is a reasonable medical standard of care. That means that the medical expert is responsible for diagnosing and treating you with the same level of skill and care as a reasonable, prudent, and similarly-experienced doctor would in the same situation.
Breach of the reasonable medical standard of care
Once the standard of care is established, your lawyer should be able to demonstrate that the medical expert (defendant) breached it. The best way to establish this element is by showing how the defendant fell short of satisfying the medical standard of care. This means proving negligence on the part of the medical facility or doctor.
Medical negligence that caused harm
Your lawyer should also demonstrate that the medical expert’s choices and actions caused an injury. In medical negligence cases, the causal connection is made by proving that the plaintiff’s health condition worsened due to the doctor’s malpractice and that deteriorated condition wouldn’t have occurred if the doctor didn’t act negligently.
Damages for harm caused by the medical negligence
Keep in mind that medical negligence is a civil court action. For the plaintiff, the requested result is often monetary award referred to as damages. Thus, you must prove that the doctor’s negligence resulted in measurable injuries for you to be entitled to damages.