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When you are sick or injured, you trust healthcare workers to do their best to heal you. But when a medical professional fails to uphold the standard of care expected in their field, a patient can suffer serious health consequences.

If you’ve suffered injuries due to the actions of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, you may be wondering, Do I have a medical malpractice case? You can seek compensation by filing a claim against the negligent party. In Illinois and Indiana, this is known as a medical malpractice suit. In Kentucky, it is known as medical negligence, but the claims are essentially the same. 

There are several common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand whether you have a claim and how to pursue compensation.

Common Medical Malpractice Causes

While negligence can happen at any time during treatment, there are some common situations that result in medical malpractice.

Diagnosis Errors & Failures

A common malpractice situation is when a healthcare professional misdiagnoses or fails to identify the patient’s condition. If a condition is left uncorrected, the patient can suffer injury, and the condition may need serious intervention to correct later on. 

Medication Errors/Medical Records Mismanagement

Proper recordkeeping and patient tracking is a vital part of providing competent care. If a patient’s records aren’t current and all treatments and medications tracked, a doctor or nurse might accidentally make a serious error.

Anesthetic/Surgical Errors

Surgery takes a high level of skill and education. Procedures on nerves, blood vessels, arteries, or vital organs are delicate, and mistakes can cause serious injuries. In addition, anesthesia is a critical part of surgical and medical care. Doctors who specialize in this area of medicine must make sure drugs are administered in a safe manner.

What Can Make or Break Your Medical Malpractice Claim?

A malpractice suit may be warranted when a medical worker’s actions fail to meet the accepted standard of care for their profession. If a patient suffers further injury or illness as a result of those actions, they can seek compensation. The basic elements of a medical malpractice claim are:

  1. Person owed a professional duty to the patient; 
  2. They breached that duty; 
  3. The breach caused the patient’s injury; and 
  4. The patient suffered damages as a result.

However, medical malpractice cases are complex and technical. They require proper evidence and expert opinions, which is why seeking legal help is important. It is the best way to make sure your case isn’t dragged down by common pitfalls.

Standard Of Care

A medical provider’s duty depends on the professional standard of care that applies to them. Many medical malpractice cases are tossed out because the plaintiff couldn’t prove that the defendant deviated from the standard of care that would be expected of a physician with similar education and training. Rare complications, unforeseeable issues, or bad luck may not be negligent if the professional performed as someone in their position should. In these cases, recovery is unlikely.

Proving Causation

Another issue can occur if the defendant is able to challenge causation. They may argue that another factor was the cause of the patient’s injury or that their actions did not affect the patient’s outcome. 

Proving Damages

The final element of the claim requires you to show the malpractice resulted in measurable damages. If you can prove malpractice but cannot show that an injury resulted, you will not be able to win your case. A plaintiff needs proper supporting evidence, often backed by expert opinion.

This includes documentation of necessary corrective medical care, future medical costs, lost wages, and more. If you cannot prove any actual damages resulted, you will not be able to recover from the negligent party.

Ultimately, having the right evidence and the right experts will make your case. Any legal proceeding can be complicated, but the technical complexity of medical malpractice claims means that they require special experience and skill to prove. 

Seek Legal Help as Soon as Possible

Medical malpractice laws are complicated, and the time for filing a claim is limited by your state’s statute of limitations. This time limit can quickly evaporate if the patient’s recovery takes a significant amount of time. Many states now require a plaintiff to file an affidavit from an expert confirming a meritorious claim or provide evidence to a panel before proceeding with their suit.

Because of this, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can assess your case to determine what legal course of action is right for you. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you gather the right documentation to prove your claim and tell you if your state has a cap on medical malpractice damages. 

Injured Due to Medical Malpractice? Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.

If you want to know whether you have a medical malpractice case, contact Gerling Law today. If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries due to medical malpractice in Indiana, Illinois, or Kentucky, don’t let the bills pile up while you suffer and struggle to recover. Right now, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve. The team at Gerling Law is here to help you get your life back. We have over 50 years of experience successfully representing people in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, and offer a free case evaluation for potential clients. Call us at 866-651-2195 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment today!

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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