Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: Your Questions Answered
Medical malpractice lawsuits fall under a personal injury law and is based on the negligence committed by a medical professional. While accidents occur at hospitals in general, some of these incidents can be prevented. When a physician makes a preventable mistake that causes an injury or disease, the patient is entitled to sue them for damages.
What Needs to Be Proven in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
The following elements need to be established for a physician or hospital to be considered negligent:
- The doctor owed a duty to the patient
- The doctor breached their duty to the patient
- The breach of the duty resulted in the patient experiencing harm or damage
The question that needs to be answered in a medical malpractice case is: Would the injury have occurred even if the doctor wasn't negligent? If the injury still would have happened despite the doctor’s actions, then the malpractice claim likely won’t hold up in court.
What Does "Reasonably Prudent" Mean?
To determine if the conduct of a person in the general public is negligent, their actions are compared against a standard of how a "reasonably prudent person" would act in the same or similar circumstance. When it comes to a medical malpractice case, the physicians conduct is judged against the level of competency and professionalism that is consistent with the specialized training, experience, and care of a "reasonably prudent" medical professional in the same or similar circumstances. When the physician breaches the standard of care and the patient suffers harm, an action for medical malpractice can be taken.
Who Can Be Considered a Medical Professional?
The word "patient" usually refers to a person who is receiving medical treatment or is under medical care. While doctors are often the focus of medical malpractice claims, many other professionals or medical organizations can also be held responsible. Chiropractors, nurses, therapists, and psychologists can all be used for breaching the professional duties owed to their patients.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
The damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice case are similar to other personal injury cases. Possible damages that can be recovered include:
- Medical Expenses & Future Medical Expenses
- Physical & Mental Anguish
- Loss of Consortium
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Loss of Companionship
If you have suffered harm because of a medical professional’s negligence, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Contact our Los Angeles team of medical malpractice lawyersto schedule a free consultation today. We are here to fight for you.