If you suspect that recent medical attention caused you or a loved one to suffer harm instead of healing, the situation can be distressing. Not only do you have to cope with the initial injury, but you also have to manage further physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is all too common. Since 1990, affected individuals in California have filed over 98,000 adverse reports against practitioners. The following items are elements the courts examine to determine whether malpractice occurred.
1. Establishing the patient-provider relationship
You must first show that you had a professional relationship with the health care provider. You will have to provide documents that demonstrate this connection. These documents could include medical records or other written agreements.
2. Assessing the standard of care
Next, you must present evidence that the provider did not meet the standard of care necessary for your specific condition. For example, if you suffered a fracture, you must determine if the doctor followed the standard practices for diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating such injuries. You often need the assessment of consulting medical professionals to prove this point.
3. Proving causation
After you prove that the provider did not meet the standard of care, you should demonstrate a direct link between the practitioner’s actions or inactions and the harm you suffered. The damage cannot be a result of another underlying health issue.
4. Documenting the harm
Finally, thoroughly document the harm you experienced as a result of the health care provider’s negligence. Damages can include both financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-financial damages, like pain and suffering.
Over half of the adverse reports against California medical practitioners resulted in reported payment. Building a strong case requires attention to detail and gathering the right evidence. By following these steps, you may increase your chances of success in seeking compensation for the harm you’ve endured due to medical negligence.