A medical malpractice lawsuit is a type of personal injury case that is filed against a medical professional. All medical professionals – physicians, nurses, EMTs, and other medical workers have a duty to provide care to patients. This care includes never causing harm. When a patient is injured or develops an illness or condition because a medical professional was negligent, that patient may be able to pursue damages against the medical professional for the losses they have suffered because of their injuries or illness. In order to be successful, a medical malpractice attorney needs to show that the negligent actions of the medical professional caused the injury (or illness) and that injury resulted in losses to the patient.
There are certain elements that need to be present in a medical malpractice claim for the patient to prevail. These three elements are:
- The medical professional had some type of duty to the patient
- The medical professional breached that duty
- This breach of duty caused harm to the patient which would not have happened if not for that breach of duty
- The harm the patient suffered caused them losses
Some of the most common types of medical malpractice that a medical malpractice attorney sees includes:
- Failure to diagnose
- Improper sterilization of hospital rooms (operating rooms, patient rooms, etc.)
- Improper sterilization of medical devices or instruments
- Leaving an object inside a patient during surgery
- Medication errors
- Neglecting basic patient care (failing to feed an elderly patient)
- Operating on the wrong body part
The above are only a small handful of examples of the type of medical negligence a medical malpractice attorney can pursue damages for. No matter what the negligent act is, it is the patient, through his or her attorney, who has the burden to prove that that negligence occurred.
The attorney also has to prove that the patient suffered losses because of the negligence. Something to keep in mind is that even if the medical professional may have committed some kind of error or act of negligence, if the patient did not suffer any harm or any losses, they will likely not be entitled to any financial compensation award.
Losses that would entitle the patient to receive financial compensation are:
- Medical expenses, including any future medical expenses that may be needed for surgeries, therapy, etc.
- Lost wages and benefits from being unable to work while they recovered
- Loss of future income if they have been left with a permanent disability because of the malpractice
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one has suffered medical malpractice injury because of a negligent medical professional, call a medical malpractice lawyer, to find out how he or she can help you get the compensation you deserve.