In the legal world, many practice areas can be thorny and complicated, and that includes medical malpractice claims. To be fair, some cases are more complicated than others.
However, clients tend to have a somewhat simplified view of medical malpractice, and might believe that since physicians and offices carry such high amounts of insurance, these cases are often a walk in the park.
The thing to understand is that there are clear legal criteria for medical malpractice claims. These are not ‘shoot from the hip’ kinds of legal processes. They rest on very specific and clear delineation of responsibility and legal burden of proof.
Aside from the four fundamental aspects of medical malpractice claims, which involve duty, breach of duty, injury and damages, a frequent part of these cases involves proving that a doctor acted in a clearly negligent way. One way to explain this is by comparing the physician’s behavior to a theoretical “reasonably skillful and careful” doctor, and illustrating the difference.
What do medical malpractice cases typically look like?
Some of them have to do with diagnosis. Failure to diagnose or egregious misdiagnosis can be a basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Then there’s improper treatment, which rests on the idea that a doctor should not deviate from what’s been shown to cause good outcomes in medical journals.
But despite those principles being common in medical malpractice, there’s also the duty of informed consent.
Most patients will be familiar with the idea of going to a doctor’s office and hearing about the risks and benefits of a particular treatment or course of action. They understand that we weigh the benefits and the disadvantages of something, in order to decide how to move forward.
The idea behind duty of informed consent is that the doctor should not just choose for the patient, but should lay out the choices and make sure the patient understands those benefits and risks. Informed consent means that all of the parties decide together.
This kind of legal work also involves tying any negligence to injury, and tying that injury to damages. Traditional types of damages include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other types of costs. Again, as in many other types of legal cases, the attorneys will be working to establish a clear chain of cause and effect.
If you’ve been involved in a hospital process with a poor outcome, talk to Hutchison and Tubiana. Our experienced legal professionals will work tirelessly on your behalf with the professional dedication and attention to detail that gives our clients confidence – that their voices will be heard in a court of law.