What Constitutes a Medical Malpractice Case?

by | Mar 23, 2013 | Lawyer

If you think you may have a medical malpractice case, before contacting an attorney, you should make sure that your situation fits certain criteria. There are many lawyers who can assist you with medical malpractice in Cedar Rapids, IA. You will need, however, to make sure that you aren’t wasting time, both theirs and yours, on a case that will go nowhere. In general, your case will need to meet three conditions before a lawyer will take it on. The three things that you will need to prove in order to have a case are: a patient/doctor relationship, negligence and harm which was caused by negligence.

What does the Patient/Doctor Relationship Mean?

In order to get an attorney to look at a case for medical malpractice in Cedar Rapids, IA, you will need to prove a relationship. This relationship, between a doctor and patient, is fairly easy to prove. As long as a doctor has examined a patient, this relationship has been established. You will not need any type of written contract nor will you need to establish any form of payment. Typically a doctor will readily admit that they have examined a patient, but if not, documents can usually prove the relationship. These documents include receipts, patient files and even referrals from another doctor.

What does Negligence Mean?

Proving negligence can be a bit more difficult than proving a doctor/patient relationship. It is expected that a doctor should always provide competent care at all times. If they fail to do that, it is considered negligence. The burden for the patient, in this type of case, is proving that the doctor was not competent. Sometimes this is obvious. For example, we have all heard horror stories of doctors leaving instruments inside a person during surgery. Most of the time, it is not obvious, however. Typically the only way that negligence can be proven is by the testimony of other medical professionals. This would include how the medical community normally practices a certain procedure or behavior.

How Would You Prove that Harm Was Caused by Negligence?

The truth is, a doctor can be as negligent as they want to be and if no harm comes from the act, the patient would have a very weak case. Because of this, some type of harm will need to be proven. Examples are: pain, the loss of your ability to earn money, the loss of your ability to enjoy the pleasures of life and the cost of medical bills. If you feel that you would be able to do all of these things, with the assistance of an attorney, it is recommended that you contact one today. Medical malpractice suits can take a long time and the sooner you contact a lawyer for assistance, the sooner you can find out if you have a case.

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