What Actually Is A Medical Malpractice Claim?
A medical malpractice claim is a negligence claim that is brought against a medical doctor or other healthcare professional, who has failed to render that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the same specialty, practicing under the same or similar conditions, would have rendered. It is necessary to show that that failure to exercise reasonable care was a direct or substantial cause of the patient’s injury.
Are Medical Malpractice Cases Only Against Medical Doctors Or Could They Also Be Against Other Healthcare Professionals?
The scope of individuals against whom medical malpractice claims can be brought will depend on the statutory law of the jurisdiction in which the negligent conduct occurred. For the most part, medical malpractice claims can also be brought against other licensed medical /healthcare professionals. This may include chiropractors, psychologists, physical therapists, and others.
What Steps Should Someone Take If They Believe They Have Been The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?
All relevant facts and medical records should be obtained as soon as possible. Ultimately, an attorney will have to have the case evaluated by one or more independent medical professionals, prepared to provide expert medical testimony in support of the claim. In some jurisdictions, such as Maryland, pre-suit certification is actually required from an independent medical expert that he or she has reviewed all pertinent records and relevant facts and believes that the case has merit. If a person believes that he or she has been the victim of medical malpractice, we recommend preparing a written chronology of all of the events, also including notes or information on any communications with any medical personnel regarding the treatment received. A detailed medical history is also essential. Consequently, the injured person or his family should do their best to put together a list of all medical providers seen by the injured party before and after the incident, describe all pre-existing medical conditions, and medications prescribed or taken before and after the alleged negligent care.
It is important that counsel be consulted promptly because there are strict legal deadlines on bringing medical malpractice claims. It may take a significant amount of time to enlist and obtain opinions from independent medical experts, and when required by state law, to obtain pre-suit certification that the expert believes that the case has merit. Consequently, it is best not to delay in seeking help from experienced counsel.
Can I Recover Any Damages In A Medical Malpractice Claim If I Have Signed A Consent Form Prior To The Procedure?
One can still pursue a medical malpractice action after signing a consent form, if the claim is based on the provider’s alleged departure from the applicable standard of care. In all instances, the medical provider is required to adhere to that degree of care required of a reasonably prudent medical provider practicing in the same specialty under the same or similar conditions. The medical provider may be held accountable for injuries caused by that departure from the standard of care, regardless of the consent form.
A common defense asserted by medical providers is that the provider was not negligent and that the injury suffered was a known risk of the medical treatment or procedure. It is asserted that the patient assumed or agreed to such risk as evidenced by the signed consent form. In such cases, the question becomes whether there was full and fair disclosure of all relevant information to allow the patient to make an informed decision when giving consent. Such claims then focus on whether there was “informed consent”.
In any event, the injured party, can still prevail on a medical malpractice claim if it can be proven that the healthcare provider failed to render that degree of skill and care that a reasonably prudent provider practicing in the same field should have rendered under the same or similar conditions, and that departure from the standard of care caused injury.
For more information on Medical Malpractice Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 453-5656 today.