A person may have a medical malpractice case if they are injured after a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional fails to perform their work in a competent manner. There are certain general rules involved in medical malpractice cases in the state of Michigan. This is a special category of law that is very complex, but here are the basics of medical malpractice.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, you will need to prove the following things:
- The doctor and patient had a relationship: You must prove there was a doctor-patient relationship between you and the doctor or other healthcare professional you are suing. This is as simple as providing proof that you went to the doctor for medical care or treatment.
- The doctor was negligent: You don’t have a medical malpractice case simply because you were unhappy with the treatment or results you received. The only way the doctor can be sued for medical malpractice is if he or she was negligent in relation to your treatment or diagnosis. You must prove not only that the doctor’s actions or mistake caused you harm, but also that a competent doctor would not have caused such harm.
- The negligence of the doctor directly caused injury: Most often, medical malpractice cases involve patients who are sick or injured, which results in the question of whether the doctor caused harm due to negligence. In most cases, the patient must have a medical expert witness testify that the doctor indeed caused the injury in question.
- The injury led to specific damages: There are only specific categories in which a person can sue a doctor for malpractice. The types of harm that fall under those requirements are physical pain, mental anguish, ongoing medical bills, or lost work and wages.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Several scenarios can result in a medical malpractice claim, like a surgeon leaving a sponge inside a patient or a doctor failing to disclose certain side-effects of a medication or procedure. Most of these types of claims include the following categories:
- Failure to diagnose: If a doctor fails to diagnose a patient, and the patient would have experienced a better outcome had the doctor properly diagnosed him or her, the patient has a medical malpractice claim.
- Improper diagnosis: If a doctor provides a diagnosis for the wrong condition, and the patient would have had a better outcome had the doctor provided a diagnosis for his or her actual condition, the patient has grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Failure to warn a patient of known risks: Doctors must warn patients of specific risks associated with treatment. This is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient chooses to proceed with a treatment or procedure without a doctor’s warning of specific risks and is harmed from the treatment or procedure, the patient has a medical malpractice claim.
If you are unsure whether your specific case qualifies as medical malpractice, speak with the medical malpractice attorneys at Michigan Legal Center. We can evaluate the facts of your case and take the appropriate steps to get you the compensation you’re entitled to by law. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.