Medical malpractice and medical negligence occur when health care providers fail to do everything in their power to care for their patients. In order to qualify for legal action, whatever the provider did or didn’t do must also lead to an injury in the patient that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred.
Failure to perform adequate treatment can take on different forms depending on the nature of the illness and treatment:
- Failure to diagnose a disease in a case where another doctor might have discovered it in time to treat it
- Incorrect treatment, whether because it’s a treatment that any other doctor would not have used or because it’s the proper treatment used improperly
- Failure to obtain written informed consent, or not letting the patient know of all the risks, benefits, and alternatives of any given procedure
In order to have a strong case of medical malpractice in Indiana, take a look at these 4 things to get even closer to proving fault.
1. You Had an Established Physician-Patient Relationship
To sue for medical malpractice, an individual must have had an established, agreed upon relationship with a physician or healthcare professional. Once that professional is officially the main source of treatment, he or she has a duty to treat patients with only the best standards of medical care.
However, where an individual might face difficulty is when the relationship begins and ends, especially if there’s a lot of time between injuries and treatment. The medical injury attorneys at WKW will be able to advise you on the strength of your case depending on the timeline.
2. Your Doctor Didn’t Uphold Her End of the Deal
Once it has been established that there was a relationship between physician and patient, the next step is to prove that he or she breached the expected standard of care. The injured party must prove, without a doubt, that a doctor caused a patient more harm than good, either with or without warning.
This typically requires expert testimony. In such situations, a medical malpractice lawyer would hire an expert witness from the same field of medicine to provide supporting evidence to a jury.
3. You Were Injured
Simply being dissatisfied with a prognosis or a course of treatment is not always grounds for medical malpractice. Instead, focus on the following qualifying injuries:
- Disfigurement or deformity
- Loss or impairment of physical or mental function
- Lost wages or earning capacity
- Reduced chances of recovery from your illness
4. Your Unexpected Injury was the Result of Treatment
A victim must be able to prove that the injury was the direct result of a doctor’s care (or lack thereof). This is, unfortunately, quite difficult to prove. Since a plaintiff was already injured or sick when he sought treatment, showing where one injury ends and another begins—let alone what caused it—can be daunting.
While expert testimony adds strength to a malpractice case, further research, documentation, medical records, etc. is needed to show that the doctor’s action or inaction was the true cause of injury. Depending on the exact nature of the case, hiring multiple experts might be recommended by a malpractice attorney.
Think You Have a Case? Get a Free Case Review from a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured at the hands of your physician, speak with our experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyers for a free case evaluation. We have a team of legal nurse consultants on staff to assist in every case to ensure evidence is up to par with medical malpractice law. Get in touch with WKW today at 317-920-6400 or fill out the contact form below for more information about your potential case.