Filing a Medical Malpractice- The Basics

People go to hospitals so that they may find consolation and help. However, at times the medical professional attending to a patient may fail to perform his medical duties as required. Take, for instance, if a doctor does not make a proper diagnosis, the disease could progress and cause adverse effects. If a suspicious mammogram is realized and acted upon in time, treatment can be administered, and the patient can recover fully. If skin cancer is recognized early, it can be treated before the patient passes on. Therefore, medical malpractice is a delicate case that should be handled by qualified medical malpractice lawyers.

Filing for a claim

The rules of medical malpractice, from when to file a lawsuit to when you notify the doctor depend on the state’s law. However, there are overall principles that cut across.
Before filing a medical malpractice claim, a patient must prove these things:

The existence of a doctor-patient relationship

Patients should establish that there was a patient-physician relationship with the doctor they are suing. It means that you hired the physician and the physician agreed to be engaged. Therefore, you cannot sue a doctor you overheard offering advice at a tea party or over the television. It is easy to prove your claim if you had already hired the doctor and treatment had commenced.

Negligence of the doctor

Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the treatment only does not form the basis of filing a claim. Rather, the physician should have been negligent concerning your diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, you must show that the medical expert caused you harm that would not have occurred if a competent doctor handled you. The doctor is not required to be perfect, but rather careful and skillful. Usually, another medical expert will be asked to explain the standard medical care procedure that should have been done, then prove how the defendant deviated from this standard.

The doctor’s negligence caused harm

Since most medical malpractice cases deal with patients who were already unwell, it is usually necessary to ascertain if what the doctor did, led to the damage or not. For instance, if a patient dies of skin cancer, and the doctor was negligent in a way, it’s hard to prove if the death was caused by the skin cancer of the physician’s negligence. Thus, the plaintiff should show that it is more likely than not for the harm to have been caused by the doctor.

Difficulties of Evidence: The “Res Ipsa” Doctrine

If you are sure that you or your loved ones have suffered harm due to medical malpractice but you are unable to prove it, talk to your medical malpractice lawyer about “res ipsa loquitur.” It is a doctrine that is translated into English to mean “the thing speaks for itself.” You can invoke this doctrine to make the case easier. To use this doctrine appropriately, the plaintiff should show that:

  • The real cause of the injury cannot be obtained
  • The plaintiff is not responsible for the injury
  • The damage doesn’t occur in the absence of negligence
  • The injury could only be caused by an instrument that is in the defendant’s control

Hire a lawyer

A medical malpractice case can be overwhelming. That is why hiring medical malpractice lawyers Toronto is a great way of ensuring justice is served.