Whether we visit our physicians for strep throat or even something much more serious such as cancer, we expect our medical professionals to treat our ailments properly. After all, they are supposed to be the experts. That is why it can be so distressing to lose a loved one due to mistakes made on the part of their medical team. If you find yourself in such a situation, you will want to learn more about your options moving forward, including the possibility of pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical malpractice and negligence
Medical malpractice lawsuits are essentially based on negligence. Under common law, physicians must practice in a way that a “reasonable” physician would in similar circumstances so that their patients would not be subjected to a foreseeable risk of harm. If the physician fails to do so, they could be liable for medical malpractice.
The elements of a medical malpractice claim are as follows. First there must be a legal duty on behalf of the medical professional tasked with providing care. Second is a breach of this duty due to failing to adhere to standard practices of the profession. Third there must be a causal relationship between the breach and the damages suffered by the plaintiff. Fourth there must be identifiable damages resulting from the breach.
The process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit follows a general format. A summons will be filed as well as a complaint. These are known as the pleadings, and they describe the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant along with a claim for relief. The defendant will respond to this claim. While some cases will be resolved through out of court negotiations, others will go through the entire trial process.
Know your rights
Ultimately, if you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, you will want to learn more about your rights moving forward. This includes possibly pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice lawsuits are one way to pursue the compensation you deserve during what is a very difficult time.