You’re fine one day but then you’ve gotten ill the next, and no amount of self-medicating made your illness go away. Thus, you decided to visit a doctor in the hopes that they can do something about it and get you back to tiptop shape. However, all doctors are human too like you, and even the best ones make mistakes from time to time. The only difference is that even a very small mistake on their end can easily endanger the lives of patients like you. If you were medically wronged, you would want to consider first the following things from a legal standpoint:
1. You’ll have to prove first that the doctor who wronged you had committed medical negligence or malpractice
Most medical wrongs usually start as cases of negligence. However, you can’t accuse your doctor of the said offense unless you and the lawyer that you’ll be hiring to help you with your case can prove the following:
- You and the doctor who wronged you had established a doctor-patient relationship wherein the latter has a legal duty of care to give you the right medical treatment that’s suited to your specific needs.
- The doctor deviated from a reasonable standard of care in which your lawyer would gather testimony from other medical professionals by asking what they would’ve done if faced with the same situation.
- The doctor’s deviation from a reasonable standard of care caused you to become injured or your life to become endangered.
2. You can file a complaint with your state’s medical board against the doctor who wronged you
If your first reaction after successfully proving that your doctor had committed medical negligence is to drag them to court with a lawsuit, you will want to take a step back.
- Before filing a lawsuit against the doctor who wronged you, you’ll have to make a complaint first with your state’s medical board who can then enforce some disciplinary measures against them.
- However, you wouldn’t want to file a complaint against your doctor alone as they might not be punished at all by your state’s medical board for their wrongdoing.
- Thus, when filing a complaint against your doctor, you should research first if they had other previous patients who also had suffered medical negligence while under their care.
- Once you’ve contacted some of your doctor’s previous patients, all of you can then file a joint complaint.
3. You can also file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who wronged you, but you should do so within your state’s statute of limitations
As a complaint that you filed with your state’s medical board against the doctor who wronged you usually isn’t enough to make them accountable for their negligence, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them.
- However, you’ll have to decide fast whether to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor or not as all civil cases are under the statute of limitations.
- As different states have different statutes of limitations, you should check your state’s statute of limitations so that you’ll know how much time you still have left to file your medical malpractice lawsuit.
- You may ask the help of a lawyer to understand how medical malpractice cases work specially if you’ve been involved in a car accident, and you can click here for more information.
4. To avoid having your medical malpractice lawsuit undergo a long and costly trial, you can consider an out of court settlement with the doctor who wronged you instead
With doctors winning 80 to 90 percent of all medical malpractice cases that undergo a full trial in court, you might initially want to forget about making the doctor who wronged you accountable under the law and even put the blame on yourself for having trusted some medical professional who you thought can get you well.
- However, you still have a fighting chance to assert your legal rights as someone who was wronged medically by way of an out of court settlement between you and your doctor.
- You can ask the doctor who wronged you to pay a certain settlement amount that both you and the doctor should agree upon as compensation for the damages as well as the pain and suffering that the negligence caused you.
According to a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety back in 2013, more than 200,000 to 400,000 patients die every year after suffering from preventable harm. Sure, you shouldn’t expect a doctor you hired to treat your sickness or injury to not make any mistake at all throughout their entire career. Unfortunately, even one small mistake committed by your doctor can put your life in danger. Thus, you would want to read the above-listed things that you should consider in a legal sense if you were wronged medically. You’ve only have one life to live after all, and you wouldn’t want to have it cut short because of a doctor’s mistake.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit in her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.