How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
November 3, 2023 | Medical malpractice
If you or somebody you love has been injured or become ill as a result of the negligent actions of a medical provider, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. These claims are complicated, and individuals without much legal experience in this field may not understand whether or not they have a medical malpractice claim. Here, we want to review some of the elements of a medical malpractice claim, but we encourage you to allow an attorney to examine your case so you can have the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses.
Examining the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Understanding whether or not you have a medical malpractice claim involves looking at specific elements that must be in place in order for the case to be successful. An attorney will examine the specific factors of your case to help understand whether or not these elements are in place, and you can use this information to decide whether or not to move forward with your claim.
Duty of Care
The first element involves showing that there was a duty of care owed by the alleged negligent medical provider to the medical malpractice victim. In general, this involves establishing that there was a medical professional-patient relationship, often referred to as a doctor-patient relationship. Generally, if an individual was a patient or received medical treatment from a specific medical professional, this is enough to show that there was a duty of care owed by the medical professional.
Breach of Duty
After determining that there was a duty of care owed by the provider to the victim, the next part of this process is showing that the medical professional breached their duty of care in some way. In order to do this, we have to examine the standard of medical care and determine whether or not the medical professional fell short of the expected standard.
The standard of medical care is the expected level of knowledge, skill, and care that a reasonably competent and skilled healthcare professional in the same field, under similar circumstances, would provide. In the context of medical malpractice, it serves as a benchmark to assess whether a healthcare provider’s actions deviated from this standard. If the medical professional does not meet the established standard of care, and this failure results in harm to the patient, it may be considered medical malpractice. This evaluation is crucial in determining whether the healthcare provider is legally liable for the patient’s injuries or adverse outcomes.
If it can be determined that the medical provider likely failed to uphold the standard of medical care, the next step is showing that the breach of duty caused the actual injury or illness the patient has experienced. This can be complicated because medicine is complicated. Caring for the human body is fraught with complexity. Often, the signs and symptoms a patient experiences have to do with something other than the breach of duty by the medical provider. The role of an attorney will be to show that the medical provider’s breach of duty is what caused the patient’s injury or illness symptoms.
Lastly, an attorney will need to show that the medical malpractice victims sustained monetary losses as a result of the incident. This can include medical expenses, lost income, and noneconomic damages.
Contact an Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney Immediately
If you or someone you care about has been harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of a medical provider in Washington, contact a Seattle medical malpractice attorney immediately. Let a lawyer examine the facts of your case by offering a free consultation so they can help move forward.