Individuals who are sick or injured seek medical care to treat their physical problems. Most people assume that a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other medical provider will use the utmost care when diagnosing and treating illness. Unfortunately, there are some situations where a medical provider's lack of attention can make a patient's condition worse.
If you sought medical treatment only to walk away with more problems, you might have a case for medical negligence. Proving medical negligence can be challenging, but you can use these ABCs to help you determine if you should take legal action as a result of botched medical treatment.
A: Agreement to Provide Care
The first stipulation that must be met when you are considering a medical negligence case is a doctor-patient relationship. The existence of a doctor-patient relationship is critical, since a medical professional can only be guilty of negligence when the patient suffering injury was in his or her care.
If you overhear a doctor providing medical advice at a restaurant or party and suffer injuries after following this advice, you don't have a case. The doctor did not explicitly agree to provide you with medical care. If you schedule an appointment with a medical provider, this proves that both you and the medical professional entered into a doctor-patient relationship.
B: Botched Care
Just because a doctor makes a mistake when treating you doesn't mean that you have a case for medical negligence. The medical provider responsible for your care needs to botch the care by failing to act as any reasonable doctor would under the same circumstances.
This failure to meet a certain level of care is what constitutes negligence, so proving botched care is a critical component when pursuing a medical negligence case.
The final major component in a medical negligence case is causation. If a doctor botches your care but you do not sustain any injury because of the mistake, you will not be able to successfully pursue financial compensation by filing a medical negligence case.
You must be able to prove a direct link between your injuries and the botched care given by a medical provider. This causation can be challenging to prove, but an experienced medical negligence attorney will be able to help you build a case that will show a judge and jury that you have suffered financial and emotional harm as a result of medical negligence.