A medical malpractice lawsuit must satisfy specific elements before a patient can win their case.
The four elements of medical malpractice are:
- The medical practitioner owed the patient a professional duty of care.
- The medical practitioner breached their duty of care to their patient.
- As a result of that breach, they directly caused harm to the patient. This can involve creating a new injury or aggravating an existing injury.
- The patient suffered compensatory damages because of the medical provider’s breach.
If you decide to seek financial compensation from the at-fault health care professional or facility, your compensation lawsuit must prove these elements t. A medical malpractice lawyer in Columbus from our firm might be able to help you prove these elements and establish your right to financial recovery.
Identifying the Error or Mishap that Led to Your Medical Harm or Injury
Just as identifying the date of your injury might be difficult, you might struggle to identify its exact cause on your own. According to StatPearls, commonly reported causes of medical malpractice include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- IV transfusion errors
- Missed diagnosis
- Wrong-site surgery
- Harmful restraints
- Mistaken identities
- Equipment failures
- Laboratory errors
- Medical device errors
- Birth injuries
- Improper or inadequate care before or during surgery or after the medical procedure
- Medical device errors
- Hospital infections
With guidance and direction from a medical malpractice lawyer, you might gain access to medical experts to help decipher your medical records and prove the validity of your allegations. Your lawyer may also help you establish your right to financial compensation.
You May Be Able to Recover from the Financial Burden of Medical Malpractice
The aftermath of medical harm might lead to a plethora of financial damages. These expenses and losses may become the responsibility of the at-fault party in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Per Ohio Revised Code Section 2323.43, you may be entitled to recover these damages from a successful medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Organ loss
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages or salary
- Loss of a limb or of its use
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Significant physical deformities
- Loss of society or companionship
With records and documents that prove the physical, emotional, and financial harm of your medical injuries, your lawyer may help you build an effective case file that proves your right to recovery and the financial value of your potential compensation package.
Evidence to Help Prove Elements of Medical Malpractice
Evidence plays a central role in medical malpractice cases. Without it, it will be difficult to prove the medical professional or healthcare facility acted inappropriately.
Duty of Care
To prove the medical practitioner owed you a duty of care, we must use evidence to establish you had a doctor-patient relationship with them. We must provide proof that the medical practitioner advised you about your condition and that you received treatment for it.
Breach of Duty of Care
The second element of medical malpractice requires you to prove you received medical care below or outside of the accepted medical standard for your condition. This confirmation can come from independent medical professionals who can testify on your behalf about what a competent medical practitioner would do in your case. If the provider who treated you did not do these things, you could prove the care you received fell below standards. We cover this topic more below in the section about affidavits of merit in medical malpractice cases.
The third element involves causation and showing how the medical professional’s negligence directly harmed you. Your case’s evidence must make it clear that the medical provider’s actions or inactions caused your current condition. Showing a direct link can rule out whether something else caused or aggravated your injuries.
The last element involves the damages that resulted from the harm you suffered. These losses can be documented with medical records, billing statements, invoices, pay stubs, employer notes, and other communications showing how the medical situation brought you losses.
We should be as detailed as possible about your damages, so the more time our attorney has to work on your case, the better for your case.
Strengthen Your Lawsuit With Support from a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Trusting a lawyer from our firm to handle your medical malpractice lawsuit means you can focus on your recovery.
A medical malpractice lawyer from our firm may ask specific questions about your health before and after your adverse medical experience and about the treatments you received. Their goal is to build a solid case file that bolsters and supports your right to compensation.
Insurance Companies May Offer You a Settlement Early in Your Case
Medical malpractice cases can involve hundreds of thousands of dollars, and no one knows that more than insurers. You may find an insurer reaching out to offer you a quick settlement to avoid further negotiations or a trial.
In many cases, an insurer reaches out to limit a claimant’s compensation, as the offer amount typically falls below what a claimant could recover.
While it is a personal decision whether to accept the offer or not, we want you to know you have a right to explore all your legal options and possible financial awards that can help you pay your medical bills and other expenses.
Once you accept an insurer’s settlement offer, the deal is final; you cannot go back and try to recover more financial awards, even if you later realize that the award you agreed to falls short of meeting your costs.
You Must File an Affidavit of Merit
Ohio Revised Code Section 2323.451 requires you to file an affidavit of merit as part of your medical malpractice lawsuit. This important document contains the opinion of a medical expert who agrees that your injuries merit a failure to provide you with reasonable medical care.
Your affidavit of merit must be filed within the required timeline and included as part of your overall lawsuit. Your lawyer may explain the importance of obtaining and submitting the affidavit of merit and assist you in finding the required medical expert.
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The lawyers on our team may help use the four elements of medical malpractice to prove the validity and value of your lawsuit against a negligent medical professional or facility.
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