Basic Requirements for Medical Malpractice Claim
We place our faith and trust in doctors, nurses, and surgeons. When we fall ill or are injured, we seek the help and assistance of medical professionals, with the hope that they will be able to help us. When that trust is betrayed, or when a patient is harmed by a doctor who fails to perform his or her duty, it may be grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Although the laws pertaining to medical malpractice vary from state to state, there are several key principles that apply to these types of cases. In this blog, our Indiana medical malpractice attorneys explain the basic requirements for medical malpractice claims.
Did a doctor-patient relationship exist?
In a medical malpractice case, you must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed – this generally means that the doctor provided medical care to you. This facet of a medical malpractice claim is typically easy to prove by showing the court that a doctor began seeing you and treating you.
Was the doctor negligent?
If you’re unhappy with the treatment you received from your doctor, or if you did not receive the results you expected, that is not enough to prove negligence and it doesn’t necessarily mean the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. To prove negligence or liability in a medical malpractice case, you must show that the doctor acted in a way that a competent doctor, under similar circumstances, would not have. Doctors are required to treat patients with care that is “reasonably careful, skillful and prudent” – should they breach that standard of care and a patient suffers as a result, a medical malpractice case may exist.
Did the doctor’s negligence cause the injury?
In Indiana, a patient must be able to prove that the doctor’s negligence was a cause of the patient’s injury. This element can be difficult in some cases. For example only, this question may be contested in cases that involve patients who were already sick before seeking treatment. For example, if a patient dies after receiving negligent treatment for cancer, the doctor would likely argue the patient died as a result of the underlying illness and not the doctor’s negligence. At Langer & Langer, we have more than 100 years of combined experience, talent, and skill pursuing justice on behalf of medical malpractice victims in this State.
Call (219) 464-3246 to schedule a consultation with a dedicated Indiana medical malpractice attorney.