Let’s say you just had a major surgery, and at first, it seems like the surgical procedure was a complete success. However, after a couple days, you start developing the symptoms of a serious bacterial infection around the site – and eventually, you have to be rushed to the emergency room. You may suspect that the surgeon was to blame, but you worry that you don’t have enough evidence to take legal action, and so you simply pay the medical bills and incur a significant debt.
Although this may sound like a terrifying hypothetical, the truth is that thousands of Americans experience this exact scenario every year. Known as “medical malpractice” in the field of personal injury law, it’s estimated that up to 250,000 people die annually from physician negligence. Those that do survive medical errors may be faced with crippling debt, or left to deal with the fallout of life-long injuries on their own.
Of course, even if you believe that you have a medical malpractice case, it can be daunting to bring legal action against your healthcare provider or the hospital you visited. At Rash Mueller., our experienced medical malpractice attorney is committed to helping you navigate these claims – and secure the financial recovery that you need to cover ongoing bills and treatments.
Here are the 4 elements you will need for an effective medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Duty of care: In legal terms, a “duty of care” simply means that one person has a responsibility to protect the other from reasonable harm. Thus, in order to sue a physician or healthcare provider, you will first need to establish that they had an existing duty of care towards you. In most cases this will be fairly straightforward, as doctors and nurses have a clear responsibility to exercise care with their patients.
- Violation of the duty of care. After proving that your healthcare provider had a duty of care, the next step is to show that they violated that duty. Patients have a basic right to receive attention, information, and appropriate care from their healthcare providers. If doctors fail to perform routine tests, miss obvious warning signs, or treat you with negligence and disdain during your visit, they can be held accountable for any injuries that result.
- Proof of injury. It may go without saying, but you can’t prove a medical malpractice claim unless you’ve suffered an actual injury. Whether it’s a hospital-acquired infection or awareness during surgery, it’s important to gather detailed records of your experiences, as well as your full medical records from the hospitals you've visited.
- Damages. It can cost thousands of dollars to treat a single medical mistake, and for many patients, the cost may be incalculable. After an amputation or another serious life-altering injury, you may not be able to seek work in your field, or even enjoy life the same way as before. These costs, whether tangible or intangible, are called “damages,” and this is the total compensation that you will seek from the negligent practitioner.
Have More Questions? Give Us a Call!
Not sure whether you have all four elements required to prove a medical malpractice claim? With billions won for our clients and over 25 years of experience, our Weston attorneys at the Law Offices of Rash Mueller. are well-positioned to fight for your rights. We want to hold wrongdoers accountable so that no other families and individuals have to suffer for a physician’s mistake – and we’ll go the extra mile to seek the compensation that you deserve.
Call (954) 914-7116 to schedule your consultation today!