How to Know If You Have a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice claims can be challenging to pursue and prove. Because dissatisfaction with the outcome of a surgery or course of treatment does not necessarily mean that a healthcare professional failed to provide an “acceptable standard” of care, it takes a skilled medical malpractice lawyer to identify and prove that malpractice occurred.
At Serious Injury Law Group, we are often contacted by people who ask, “Do I have a medical malpractice case?” To answer this question, we’ve provided the following information that might be helpful when evaluating the care you or a loved one received.
Basic Requirements for Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims
To have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to demonstrate each of the four following elements:
- The Medical Professional Had a ‘Duty of Care’ – This means the doctor or other healthcare professional had a responsibility to provide competent medical care. In most cases, you can establish that a medical professional had a duty of care by proving that a formal doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The Medical Professional Breached the Duty of Care – You must also be able to prove that the healthcare professional did not follow the appropriate medical standards of care during treatment. This is usually proven through expert testimony about what a similar healthcare professional would have done or not done under similar circumstances.
- The Medical Professional’s Negligence Caused the Injury – You must show that a medical provider’s negligence was more than likely the direct cause of the injury.
- You Suffered Specific Damages as a Result – You must demonstrate that the medical malpractice injury caused you to suffer specific damages, such as a physical or psychological injury, additional medical costs, or lost wages.
Signs You Might Have a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice can occur anytime a physician, nurse, or other medical professional fails to provide adequate care to a patient. However, just because a patient’s condition worsens under a doctor’s care doesn’t necessarily mean they have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Some signs to know if you have a medical malpractice case include:
- The Doctor Was Negligent – Several common situations can indicate possible negligence, including delayed or missed diagnoses, surgical errors, and failure to advise patients of treatment risks.
- You Had Time Off Work or Lost Earnings – If you were forced to miss time at work because of injuries you sustained at the hands of a negligent doctor, you may have a case to claim financial compensation for lost wages.
- Your Lifestyle Has Significantly Changed – If you have suffered significant negative changes in your day-to-day lifestyle as a result of suspected medical malpractice, you may have a case. You could be eligible to claim compensation for needed accessibility aids or reduced quality of life.
- You Received an Apology – When acknowledged medical errors occur, many hospitals issue formal apologies to patients or their families, and some may even conduct investigations or offer financial compensation. If you received a verbal or written apology, you likely have a valid medical malpractice claim.
Contact Serious Injury Law Group
If you suspect that you may have been harmed by medical malpractice in Alabama, contact the Serious Injury Law Group today. We know what it takes to pursue a successful medical malpractice case, and we will work diligently to hold negligent medical professionals accountable. We are locally owned and committed to the community, and we want only the best medical treatment for our community members.
Our initial case reviews are always free, and we do not charge any upfront fees to get started on your case. We can also meet you wherever is most convenient for you. Contact us today to learn more about how the Serious Injury Law Group can help you.
Attorney Gerald Brooks graduated from the University of Alabama twice — with an undergraduate degree in business in 1998 and with a law degree in 2002. Brooks’ practice focuses solely on personal injury cases, and he has achieved some significant outcomes on behalf of his clients. They include a medical malpractice jury verdict of $3.5 million, a jury verdict of $380,000 in a motor vehicle case, and multiple seven-figure settlements in medical malpractice and trucking cases.