Common Questions About Medical Malpractice Claims

Many people have questions about medical practice. The following are some of the most common questions about medical malpractice claims.

How Do I Know If I Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?

A doctor made a mistake and you're unhappy about it. Can you sue? That depends on whether the four elements of a medical malpractice claim can be established. They are:

  1. Duty - Show that the doctor owed you a duty. This involves proving that a doctor-patient relationship existed.
  2. Breach -Show that the doctor breached that duty. This involves proving that a doctor failed to meet a standard of care for his profession.
  3. Injury - Show that you were injured. There must be some sort of loss/injury that would not have happened if it were not for the error of the doctor.
  4. Cause - Show that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your injury.

Generally, these elements are satisfied if it can be shown that the doctor's actions were not what most doctors of similar training and experience would do, and that the doctor's actions resulted in an injury or loss to a patient.

If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney at Martin & Jones can evaluate your case and let you know whether the treatment you received fell below the standard of care.

How Will I Know If My Health Care Provider Made A Mistake?

You probably will not know; most health care providers will not let you know when someone has made a mistake. Mistakes happen more often than you think, and many patients recover without issue. Unfortunately, some mistakes are very serious and cannot be fixed.

One of the first indications of potential medical malpractice is a negative result. In some cases, it may be obvious, such as a scar on the wrong location following surgery. In other instances, it is less clear, and you should consult with an attorney if you suspect a mistake was made.

Is It Medical Malpractice Anytime Someone Passes Away Or Has A Negative Result?

No. Sometimes, despite the best efforts of medical staff, a patient passes away or does not respond to treatment the way it was hoped. Medical treatment is only malpractice if it fell below the standard of care for that profession. If you believe you or a loved one received substandard medical treatment, you should consult with an attorney.

Why Are Medical Malpractice Claims So Hard?

Medical malpractice claims are not easy to win. The first part that is challenging is finding out what really happened. Most claims are built on a physician's notes, which tend to gloss over or downplay their errors.

To succeed, you need to find another doctor who will analyze the case as an expert and testify as to the standard of care and how the physician's actions did not meet it. It is not enough for a doctor to say he or she would have handled a case differently; the doctor must be able to testify to the standard of care within the medical profession and convince a jury that the physician's conduct was unreasonable.

Finally, you need to be able to convince a jury that this is true. Juries can be difficult because they are often sympathetic to the doctors.

It is important to hire a lawyer who has the ability to present your case in a compelling way to a jury. Look for a lawyer with a strong track record handling medical malpractice cases.

What Can An Attorney Do?

An attorney will be able to evaluate your claim and advise you on whether you have a claim that can be pursued. The attorneys at Martin & Jones examine potential medical negligence claims very carefully. We frequently consult with medical experts across the country to determine whether the standard of care for that professional has been followed.

If we determine that your claim is not actionable, we will make sure we communicate how we came to that result.

If you do have a valid claim, we will utilize our extensive resources to pursue recovery for you.

Where Does Medical Malpractice Take Place?

Medical malpractice can take place anywhere you receive medical care, from a hospital to a clinic or doctor's office. Medical malpractice claims are most prevalent in hospitals, especially emergency rooms and operating rooms.

What Are Some Examples Of Medical Malpractice?

  • Birth injuries, including cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy
  • Brain damage caused by lack of oxygen
  • Prescription medication errors caused by administering the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage
  • Surgical errors, including wrong site surgery, infections, leaving surgical tools in the body and mistakes administering anesthesia
  • Failing to diagnose a critical condition resulting in heart attack or stroke, and delayed diagnosis of a serious disease, such as cancer

How Do I Contact An Attorney About A Potential Medical Malpractice Claim?

Martin & Jones, located in Raleigh, represents clients with medical malpractice claims throughout North Carolina. If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss a potential claim, call us directly at 919-821-0005 or email us using our online contact form.