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When Can an Individual File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

When Can an Individual File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

A medical malpractice claim arises when a person is injured or their condition is made worse because of the reckless actions or negligence of a health care professional. That does not mean because a particular treatment or procedure did not cure or alleviate a patient’s ailment they can take legal action against the practitioner. Unfortunately, unforeseen complications or reactions can happen despite a doctor’s best efforts. An individual can pursue a claim when the medical professional acted or failed to act in a way that a reasonable expert would have under the same or similar circumstances.

The Burden of Proof Rests on the Plaintiff

In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff – the person who claims they were injured by a medical practitioner – must prove several factors to support their assertion.

Doctor-Patient Relationship

One of the first things a plaintiff must demonstrate is that they had a professional relationship with the person they allege caused them harm. That means an individual likely would not have a case if they underwent a procedure based on general comments they overheard a doctor say to a group of people.

The Medical Practitioner’s Negligence

In some instances, proving negligence is straightforward. A surgeon might have performed surgery on an incorrect body part or an anesthesiologist might have administered too much anesthesia. However, some cases might not be so clear, and the plaintiff must prove that the medical professional acted in a way that was below the expected level of care. This requires getting the opinion of a medical expert who can attest to what should have been done in a particular situation.

The Medical Practitioner’s Negligence Led to the Injury

The plaintiff must also show that the actions or inactions of the health care professional caused the resulting injury. However, if a person had a pre-existing condition, it is often difficult to discern whether it was the doctor’s negligence or the previous malady that led to further complications. Again, meeting this burden would require the opinion of a medical expert.

The Plaintiff Suffered Damages

For an individual to initiate a medical malpractice claim, they must prove that the harm they sustained resulted in economic or non-economic damages. That is, the plaintiff must have incurred additional medical bills, lost wages because they were unable to work, and/or suffered mental pain and anguish.

Get the Legal Help You Deserve – Call The Draskovich Law Group for a Free Consultation

The medical malpractice claims process can be complicated and often requires the assistance of a skilled legal professional. Our team has extensive experience handling various personal injury matters and knows the laws concerning these types of cases. If you suffered harm because of a medical practitioner’s negligence, we will provide compassionate and attentive guidance to help you through the process.

To schedule your free consultation, call us at (702) 381-6590 or contact us online.


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