As personal injury attorneys as well as community members in Marietta, GA, we’d like to believe that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals will always provide the right treatment. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s just not the case.
Errors by medical staff can lead to traumatic injuries and death.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a medical mistake, you’re probably wondering, “Should I sue for malpractice?”
Contrary to what you might hear on TV, it can be a bit more complicated than one might think and having proper legal counsel can help you or a loved one navigate the confusing terminology and procedures.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Not all mistakes made by health care professionals qualify as medical malpractice. Here’s what must be proven in order for you to win a medical malpractice claim:
- The medical treatment the patient received did not meet the medical standard of care.
The accepted medical standard of care is usually defined as the type of care that a reasonable, similarly qualified medical practitioner would have provided under the circumstances.
- The patient was harmed as a result of the substandard care.
The substandard care must have caused harm to the patient that would not have happened absent the negligent medical care.
How Do You Prove Substandard Care?
A medical malpractice plaintiff—the person who was harmed, or their surviving family member who is suing on their behalf—will typically need an expert witness to testify for them. The expert witness, usually a doctor, must have similar experience and training as the medical professional(s) being sued.
This expert witness will testify to:
— establish the appropriate standard of care in this case
— describe how the patient’s treatment failed to meet this standard of care
— explain how the plaintiff was harmed by the substandard treatment received
If the defendant being sued was a specialist in his or her field, they will be held to a higher standard of care than a general practitioner. A specialist is required to use the same degree of skill that a similarly-qualified specialist in the field would have provided under the circumstances.
Note that just because you had a bad outcome from a medical procedure, this may or may not mean you have a good malpractice case. The facts of each case are different, and just as no two patients are alike, no two cases are, either.
An experienced personal injury lawyer at our Marietta, GA offices will discuss the merits of your case with you and the best way to proceed.
If you believe you were harmed by the actions of a health care professional who may have failed to exercise the appropriate standard of care, the personal injury lawyers at our office in Marietta, GA will be happy to speak with you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.