A medical professional owes patients a duty to provide competent care in accordance with generally accepted standards of practice. When this obligation is breached and a patient is injured, the victim may have grounds for a lawsuit.
An Omaha medical malpractice lawyer can help gather evidence in this type of case. One important piece of information is the victim’s medical records.
Duty of Care
A medical malpractice lawyer needs to have a thorough understanding of medicine to be able to review records and pinpoint the ways in which a healthcare provider departed from the standard of care. For example, if your doctor performed an unnecessary surgical procedure and you were injured, that might constitute medical negligence.
Physicians owe strict duties of care to their patients based on professional medical standards. A breach of this duty can be found by comparing the doctor’s actions to those of a reasonable person in the same situation with similar training and experience.
A person may not sue for medical malpractice if there is no relationship between the patient and the doctor. For instance, a random person in an elevator cannot sue a doctor for giving advice on a sprained ankle because there is no doctor-patient relationship. However, if a patient voluntarily selects the doctor for treatment and subsequently submits to that treatment or care, that physician has a duty of care toward the patient.
Breach of Duty
The legal standard a doctor is expected to meet is called “duty of care.” Doctors must follow this duty in all their decisions and actions, or they may be held liable for medical negligence. A breach of duty occurs when a physician fails to follow this standard and causes injury or illness to the patient.
A property owner has a duty to repair a deck that has deteriorated over time, and failing to do so could result in someone falling off the deck and being injured. A doctor has a duty to perform surgery with the degree of skill and expertise that other doctors would use in the same situation.
A medical malpractice attorney can prove that a duty of care existed, that this duty was breached, and that the breach caused injury by requesting the defense to admit or deny statements in a complaint and summons. Our attorneys can also request the defendants to submit their medical records and other relevant evidence.
Your attorney must establish that you were owed a legal “duty of care.” This duty means the medical or hospital personnel who treated you had an obligation to provide the level of skill, caution and degree of medical knowledge that any other physician with your diagnosis and specialty would exercise in similar circumstances.
Your lawyer must then establish that the doctor or hospital failed to meet this standard of care, and that these actions or omissions caused injuries from which you suffered quantifiable damages. Negligence may be in the form of commission, such as when someone drives too fast, or omission, such as when someone fails to act.
The plaintiff must then prove every element of his or her case using the information gathered during pretrial discovery. The burden of proof is less demanding than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal trials, and is known as the “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
Medical malpractice claims require proof that the doctor or hospital in question breached their duty of care, resulting in actual damages. Your attorney will work to establish your actual losses by reviewing relevant medical records, conducting on the record interviews with witnesses and experts, and taking photos of your injuries.
Your actual financial loss includes both direct expenses such as medical bills and future costs of treatment, and indirect losses including lost wages, decreased quality of life and pain and suffering. Your New York medical malpractice lawyer will help you determine your actual economic losses and argue for fair compensation.
If you have been injured by a negligent healthcare provider, it is critical to contact a New York City medical malpractice attorney at Torgan Cooper + Aaron as soon as possible to review your case and take the next steps in pursuing justice. Medical malpractice claims can be complex and time-consuming, so do not delay.