Every patient who visits a doctor or medical professional deserves fair and ethical treatment. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and mistakes occur. Claims of doctor negligence is becoming more and more common these days, so it’s important that you understand what it is and how to deal with it. You are a victim of doctor negligence when a medical professional fails to act with the proper standard of care with which other doctors in the same field would act, resulting in injury and damages to you.
Keep in mind, though, that not every medical mistake constitutes doctor negligence. If you visit a doctor or medical professional and they take appropriate measures to diagnose and treat you, such as running tests and consulting with specialists, but you still have medical complications or are misdiagnosed, then a medical or doctor negligence case will be difficult to prove.
Doctor negligence comes into play when the physician in question blatantly or knowingly fails to act in an appropriate way to diagnose or treat their patient. This failure to exercise due care must then result in damages to the patient, either financial or emotional, in order to bring a negligence suit against the doctor.
If you feel that you have been a victim of doctor negligence, and your situation meets the criteria above, document everything that happens to you and all of your interactions with the doctor in question. You will need as much proof as possible to win such a case should it end up going to court. The next step is to hire a lawyer. But make sure that the medical lawyer specializes in doctor negligence cases, because these types of lawsuits can be complex and confusing. Your attorney can advise you whether or not you even have a negligence case, and if so, he or she will assist you in gathering the appropriate evidence to prove your claim.
There are three possible outcomes cases of doctor negligence. The first is that the medical practitioner in question will settle the case and offer you a monetary payment not to move forward with the lawsuit. The second option is that the doctor will admit fault and request that a settlement be decided in arbitration. And the last option is that the doctor completely denies any negligence on his or her part. If this happens, your case of doctor negligence will then go either to mediation or to court, to be decided by a judge.
If you end up in mediation or court, are successful and you are rewarded compensation, the settlement can be quite substantial. Settlements in doctor negligence cases include both compensatory damages, such as lost wages and medical expenses, and punitive damages like emotional or psychological damage directly related to the injury. Punitive damages, however, are harder to prove.
Regardless of the situation, it is absolutely critical to have an experienced attorney representing you in your doctor negligence case. You will have a much better chance of successfully winning your case if you do.