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Four Things You Need to Prove Medical Malpractice

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Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

Updated August 23, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

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Medical malpractice and medical negligence occur when healthcare 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.

If you suspect you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice, find an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can determine if your case qualifies for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Medical Negligence Looks Like

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 the proper treatment was 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.

Other examples of medical malpractice include surgical mistakes, diagnosis errors, and birth injuries.

How to Prove Medical Malpractice

In order to have a strong case of medical malpractice in Indiana, you need to prove these four things.

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, they have 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 malpractice attorneys at WKW will be able to advise you on the strength of your case depending on the timeline.

Your Doctor Didn’t Uphold Their 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 they 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.

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
  • Death

These damages can be both economic and non-economic in nature.

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 often already injured or sick when they 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, and more 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.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical negligence, contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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