Doctors and registered nurses provide a vital service to the community, but sometimes the negligence or carelessness of a medical professional can leave you or a loved-one damaged physically, emotionally and economically.
In order to protect the rights of the medical professionals and the patients they serve, there are a few basic requirements to file a malpractice claim. The Charlotte medical malpractice law experts at the law offices of Thomas D. Bumgardner have outlined the fundamentals of a successful medical malpractice suit.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the professional negligence of a health care provider that falls below the standard of practices in the medical community causing injury or death to a patient.
4 Requirements to Prove Medical Malpractice
The Doctor Officially Treated the Patent
In the most basic terms: the patient in question hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. If the patient was treated by a doctor at their offices, documentation will easily prove a professional medical relationship was established.
A doctor-patient relationship does not exist if the patient does not officially hire the doctor. Verbal advice in an unofficial setting usually does not qualify as sufficient evidence to prove professional treatment was given.
The Doctor Was Negligent
You must be able to show the doctor caused damage to the patient from treatment (or delay in treatment) that would be deemed incompetent under the standards and practices of the medical community.
The treatment isn’t required to be the best available, but it must simply be reasonably skilled and careful. This is the most important part of any claim because it proves the care that was given was below an acceptable level. North Carolina requires that at least one medical expert witness confirms, in a sworn statement, the patient was a victim of the negligence of a doctor.
The Doctor’s Negligent Acts Caused the Injury
It must be proven that the negligence of the doctor was the actual cause of the injury. Some cases are very clear and easy to prove. Others are not as simple. For example, if a patient with a degenerative eye disease (their vision naturally gets worse over time) completely loses their vision, it may be hard to prove treatment from the doctor caused their blindness.
A medical expert witness will be required to prove the doctor’s negligence was the cause of the injury.
The Injury Led to Certain Damages
Even if it has been determined that the doctor’s treatment was negligent, if the patient was not harmed, the case will be thrown out. A successful malpractice suit includes one or a combination of the following
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Additional medical bills
- Wrongful death
We believe in your right as a citizen to be compensated for the negligence of a medical professional. We don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.
If you feel you or a loved-one is a victim of malpractice, we encourage you to call the Charlotte medical malpractice experts at the law offices of Thomas D. Bumgardner at 704-887-4981 to schedule a free consultation.
*In no way is this blog meant to provide legal advice.