Although most people trust their doctor and other medical professionals who treat them, the truth of the matter is that medical malpractice is more common than many people think, with thousands of people being injured or killed by medical negligence every year. This medical malpractice can take many forms, including medication and anesthesia errors, surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis, wrong diagnosis, and missed diagnosis.
Proving your medical malpractice case
Any one of these types of medical malpractice can have serious implications for victims and their families, which is why it’s important for those who have been wronged by a medical professional to know how to competently build a medical malpractice case. While you’ll have to prove certain elements, such as that a doctor-patient relationship existed, a standard of care was established, that standard was breached, and the breach resulted in injuries, you’re probably wondering about what, exactly, you can do to build your case. Here are what we hope will prove to be some helpful tips:
- Gather all pertinent documents: Medical records are likely to be key to your medical malpractice case. Therefore, you’ll want to get everything you can from the hospital that provided you with the care in question. These records may show that proper tests either weren’t ordered or were misread, or that a doctor gave you the wrong medication. You may get some pushback from the hospital when it comes to collecting these records, though, which is why you may want to be prepared to subpoena everything you need.
- Obtain expert opinions: The medical field can be complicated, and there are sometimes multiple explanations for a given condition. There are oftentimes disputes in medical malpractice cases about whether the action or inaction on a doctor’s part was in line with the applicable standard of care. In these instances, it can be enormously beneficial to have an expert’s opinion on your side, as their testimony can help sway the jury in your favor.
- Anticipate the defense: Those who are experienced in this area of the law know what common defenses are raised to medical malpractice claims as well as the tactics typically utilized by defense counsel. Successfully anticipating these defense arguments and being prepared to effectively counter them can make all the difference in your case. So, conduct thorough discovery and depose those witnesses who you think will be strong for the defense. After doing that, you can develop a game plan that seeks to protect your position.
- Don’t overlook damages: A lot of the focus in medical malpractice cases is on proving breach of the applicable standard of care. While this task is certainly important, you can’t overlook proving your damages. After all, you won’t recover any compensation if you can’t prove your damages. So, be sure to look at your medical records, your employment records, and speak with a medical professional about your prognosis and your need for future care and treatment. Also, don’t forget to consider the impact that your injuries have had on your day-to-day life, as your non-economic damages could be quite significant.
Build the legal case that you deserve
If you’ve been affected by medical malpractice, then you’re dealing with a lot right now. Handling the legal complexities of a medical malpractice case may not seem all that appealing. However, doing so may be necessary if you hope to recover the compensation you need to find financial stability and obtain the recovery you deserve. So, if you’d like to learn more about how to build your case, then consider researching the law more and how it applies to your set of circumstances.