Millions of people are treated by doctors every day in the U.S. With such a large amount of medical cases, and considering doctors and nurses are mere human beings, there are bound to be some mistakes made. For those who feel they were done a disservice by a medical professional, they usually turn to the court system to hold them accountable. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is not something you should take lightly. Here are three things you need to keep in mind when filing your medical malpractice case.
1. Proving your case is a four-pronged process.
Most people don't understand just how complex a medical malpractice case is. In order to win, four things must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence:
- That the doctor owed you a duty of care (i.e. they were your doctor and you had a doctor-patient relationship)
- The doctor breached said duty of care by being negligent
- The doctor's negligence had a causal relationship with your further injury or worsened condition
- There is quantifiable proof of harm to you from the doctor's negligence
Now, while it may seem like these are all easy to prove, you have to remember that you have to prove each of them happened more likely than not. While it is not as drastic as needing to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, it can still be difficult to prove each of the elements to the degree needed - especially when you have medical professionals arguing against you.
2. The respectable minority rule.
One of the biggest defenses medical professionals use is called the respectable minority rule. This is a legal doctrine that states a doctor is not guilty of medical malpractice if they acted in the same way, or made the same diagnosis, that a respectable minority of fellow doctors would have.
That means, even if a treatment or surgery has been deemed risky or controversial, if the doctor can present opinions from enough doctors who agree with their actions and level of care, the court will likely side with the defense and you will lose your case. You and your attorney need to be prepared for that defense and try to come up with a game plan to fight it.
3. You must file your case as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases do have a statute of limitations. That means you only have a limited amount of time in which you can file your lawsuit against the medical professional who you feel was negligent in your care.
Now, the amount of time you have to file a medical malpractice case is different from state to state, as is the viewpoint on when the clock begins to tick on your opportunity to file. Because of this, even if you aren't sure you want to pursue a case, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible about your options and how long you have to decide. That way, at least you will know when your opportunity to file a case will be gone and won't be surprised if you try to file a case later. Visit a site like http://www.medilaw.com for more information.Share