When a medical professional behaves in a negligent or reckless manner, it can have lasting effects on the patient’s health and wellbeing. Medical malpractice typically occurs when a doctor or nurse hurts a patient by failing to perform his or her duties in a responsible manner. It is rarely easy to prove malpractice, though, and there are a few basic requirements that need to be in place before you can file a claim.
An experienced New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer can identify if you have a valid claim and determine if you may be eligible for compensation. The Bowling Law Firm has more than 30 years of experience in trials that involve malpractice suits, and we are well equipped to assist you throughout your legal proceedings. Call us today at (504) 586-5200 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case, and read on for four requirements of a malpractice claim:
1. There must be proof of a physician-patient relationship.
In order for you to sue a doctor, you must be able to prove that you had a physician-patient relationship with him or her. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it is relatively easy to prove that the relationship existed if the doctor was treating you at the time of the incident.
It is important to remember that patients cannot claim medical malpractice against a doctor who gave them anecdotal advice or whom they overheard offering advice to another individual, though. Issues pertaining to the doctor-patient relationship are most common when a consulting physician is involved.
2. The doctor must have been negligent.
For a malpractice claim to proceed, the doctor must have acted in a reckless or negligent manner. Disappointment with the results of a medical procedure is not grounds for a malpractice suit, and patients looking to file a claim must be able to clearly demonstrate how their doctor caused harm in a way that a responsible doctor would not have. All doctors must demonstrate reasonable skill and care when treating patients.
3. The negligence must have caused an injury.
Patients are generally sick or unwell by definition, which makes proving negligence difficult. If a patient is seriously ill and dies under the care of a doctor whom the family then wants to sure for malpractice, they must prove it was the doctor and not the existing illness that killed the patient.
4. You can only sue for specific damages.
In an attempt to prevent frivolous lawsuits, reminds readers that patients can only sue for specific damages caused by a doctor’s negligence. There are a variety of issues they or their families can potentially sue for, including loss of work, physical pain, emotional anguish, funeral costs and additional medical expenses.
If you have suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor, contact a New Orleans medical malpractice attorney today. At the Bowling Law Firm, we have extensive trial experience that we can put to work for you. Call us today at (504) 586-5200 to schedule an initial consultation with a qualified attorney to discuss your case.