What are the requirements for a medical malpractice claim?
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a patient is harmed by a doctor, or other medical professional, who fails to competently perform his or her medical duties. Below is an overview of the law and special rules that apply to medical malpractice cases.
Requirements for a Claim
To prove that medical malpractice occurred, you must be able to show all of these things:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed: This means that you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. For example, you can’t sue a doctor you overheard giving advice at a cocktail party. If a doctor began seeing you and treating you, it is easy to prove a physician-patient relationship existed. Questions of whether or not the relationship exists most frequently arise where a consulting physician did not treat you directly.
- The doctor was negligent: To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have.
- The doctor’s negligence caused the injury: The patient must show that it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s incompetence directly caused the injury. Usually, the patient must have a medical expert testify that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
- The injury led to specific damages: Even if it is clear that the doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field, the patient can’t sue for malpractice if the patient didn’t suffer any harm. Here are examples of the types of harm patients can sue for:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Additional medical bills
- Lost work and lost earning capacity
Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney
At Polito & Harrington, we offer personalized, and attentive service while handling your medical malpractice case. Your medical malpractice case will be handled directly by CT & RI medical malpractice lawyers, Humbert Polito or James Harrington. You will always be able to talk with your lawyer when you need to. We will work hard to hold people and companies responsible for injuries caused by their carelessness.