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Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Published: Apr 23, 2020 in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury
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Medical professionals are expected to help their patients maintain good health and provide effective treatment in times of sickness or injury. When a medical professional fails to provide the expected standard of care because of negligence or carelessness, victims may be able to claim justice and compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

What Constitutes a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Victims of medical malpractice have the burden of proof to justify their claim, which requires the following information:

  • Evidence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship: To bring a medical malpractice claim against a medical doctor or specialist, the victim must show evidence that they established a relationship with the medical professional. Such evidence can include receipt of payment for visits with the doctor or specialist, appointment schedules, and medical records showing a diagnosis or proof of medical examination.
  • Evidence of Medical Negligence: All doctors have a legal responsibility to provide their patients with a reasonable and skillful level of care. If a doctor is negligent in providing the level of care that another medical professional would be expected to provide, medical malpractice may have taken place. For example, if a doctor failed to order diagnostic tests to confirm suspicions of lung cancer in a patient presenting with symptoms of the disease, the patient may have a claim of medical malpractice if the doctor’s negligence resulted in a delayed diagnosis. If a simple chest x-ray could have revealed lung cancer and the patient could have begun treatment for the disease in its early stages, the doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice if the patient suffered due to delayed diagnosis.
  • Negligence of the Doctor Directly Caused Injury or Death: Proving that the negligence of a doctor was the direct cause of a patient’s injury or death can be hard to prove without expert testimony. When a patient with a pre-existing condition has complications and dies, it can be hard to prove that the doctor’s negligence in treating the complication of the disease was the direct cause of their death. For instance, if a person with long-term diabetes suffers from heart disease, it can be hard to prove that the doctor in charge of the patient’s care failed to provide medical care that could have prevented their death from heart failure. Expert testimony from a qualified and experienced specialist in diabetes and cardiac care could help prove that the doctor’s decisions to delay treatment for the condition directly led to the patient’s death.
  • Patient Suffered Damages Related to the Physician’s Negligence: A patient must suffer some type of damage or injury for a medical malpractice claim to be warranted. The patient must show hard evidence that they suffered pain, mental anguish, lost wages, or incurred medical bills related to the negligence of the physician. Compensation cannot be granted simply because the doctor operated below the standard of care expected from a physician at the same level. The negligence of the professional had to result in an actual deficit to the patient for a medical malpractice claim to proceed.

Edwardsville Medical Malpractice Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Victims of Medical Negligence Claim Compensation

If you or someone you know was a victim of medical negligence, call the Edwardsville medical malpractice lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.