Medical Malpractice: 3 Questions To Ask Before You Sue

Posted on: 29 July 2015

Do you believe you have a malpractice case? The average compensation awarded for a medical malpractice claim is around $485,000, so if you do have a valid case, your injuries could be compensated by a substantial settlement.  Here are few questions to help you determine if it's time to file a medical malpractice suit:      

Was your medical provider negligent?

There are four components needed to show negligence in a medical malpractice case:

  1. The medical practitioner must have treated you or handled your care.
  2. You must have proof that an acceptable level of care was not provided. "Acceptable" is a subjective term, so you may need the testimony of other medical experts to prove this one.
  3.  You were injured because of the failure to provide acceptable care.
  4. You must have sustained some form of damage, such as emotional  or physical harm.

Proving that your provider was negligent is not enough.  In order for you to successfully pursue a payout, your doctor's negligence must have caused you harm. In addition, a medical treatment that results in you being injured does not automatically qualify as malpractice. Both negligence and a related injury must be present.

Can you obtain expert testimony?

You may need a letter from another physician who is in the same field as your negligent provider. The letter, which may have to be filed within a specific time frame, can serve as proof that a deviation from an acceptable standard of treatment occurred and that the deviation caused you harm.  

In addition, the defendant will most likely be able to obtain expert testimony supporting the type of treatment that you received. Thus, the success of you case can depend on which expert the jury finds most convincing.

What is your case worth?

If  your damages are not substantial, you may want to forgo a malpractice case. Damages that are economic, such as medical expenses and lost wages, maybe included. However, damages that are intangible, such as your pain, stress and embarrassment, are also payable. If your provider's actions show gross negligence, your intangible damages may receive higher retribution. 

Once your damages are itemized, you will have a better idea of possible compensation.

If you have been injured because of the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact a personal injury attorney (such as Steven J Glaser, Atty) today. He or she can review the details of your claim and determine whether or not you should pursue a malpractice suit.