As a medical malpractice lawyer Memphis TN has turned to for years with their biggest claims, I’ve seen the gamut of cases. Many people have no idea their injury is medical malpractice. They suffer through years of hospital bills and lost wages without realizing someone else’s insurance should cover those costs instead.
At the same time, some people come to me absolutely certain they have a medical malpractice case when they actually don’t. Medical malpractice is a very serious claim and not one to take lightly. In my practice, we treat these potential cases with a lot of care, because they could impact a lot of people. So it’s important to understand what makes something a medical malpractice case.
Here are some of the elements we look for in any potential medical malpractice case:
- Were there injuries?
For any civil personal injury case, you have to prove there were injuries. With medical malpractice, the injuries usually need to be significant. We have to show medical proof that you’ve been hurt. Sometimes I hear from people who feel their doctor was cruel to them or gave them the wrong information. That’s certainly a problem, but unless there’s an injury it probably isn’t a malpractice case.
- Did the injury occur because of a medical care provider’s accident or wrongdoing?
Sometimes people go into the hospital more healthy than when they come out. For example, health problems can progress naturally. Or you may experience side effects from a dangerous drug. But these problems might not be the result of a physician’s mistake. In medical malpractice, the fault needs to fall clearly on a doctor or hospital that made an error.
- Did the physician act outside a normal standard of care?
When our firm takes on a medical malpractice case, we have to prove the doctor behaved differently than would be considered normal. They have to have done something beyond what another reasonable physician would have done in the same situation. In TN, we have to bring in experts to prove it. So when I first speak with potential clients, I always look to other experts in the medical field to determine whether the doctor’s behavior fell outside the standard of reasonable care.
If you believe you may have a medical malpractice case, you should contact an attorney first thing. A good lawyer will investigate your case and help you decide how to proceed. They’ll give you honest reasons as to why you might or might not have a case, even if you’re not sure right now.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into medical malpractice.