Perhaps because of their extensive education and training, healthcare providers are often thought of as being infallible. But actually, doctors can and do make mistakes just like anyone else. When a doctor makes a mistake, however, it may result in significant harm to a patient or even cost the patient his or her life. Proving that medical malpractice near Annapolis occurred can be difficult. If you think you might have a case, you can schedule an initial consultation with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases . He or she will review your case to determine if you may have the basis for a lawsuit.
Identifying the Types of Medical Malpractice
Virtually any type of mistake committed by a healthcare provider might be considered to be medical malpractice, provided the incident meets certain criteria. For example, a doctor might misdiagnose a patient or fail to order needed medical tests. Other healthcare providers might also be held liable for medical negligence, such as anesthesiologists, nurses, radiologists, surgeons, and pharmacists. It’s not unheard of for a surgeon to perform the right operation on the wrong patient or to perform a surgery on the wrong body part. Medication errors, C-section errors, and emergency room mistakes are other possible types of medical malpractice.
Understanding the Standard of Care
In the healthcare profession, the standard of care is broadly defined as the generally accepted protocols for any particular medical situation. In other words, would a similarly trained and credentialed healthcare provider have responded in a similar manner to the same situation as the original doctor? Medical malpractice can only be proven if your attorney can present evidence that shows your healthcare provider breached this standard of care. Often, this takes the form of expert testimony. Your attorney must also prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed, which is generally proven with medical records.
Proving the Cause of Damages
It isn’t sufficient for a physician to breach the standard of care to file a lawsuit. That breach must also have directly led to additional injuries or a worsening of your medical condition. Your attorney must prove the causation of your injuries, along with the extent of your losses.