Medical malpractice is going to occur when patients are harmed by doctors or some other medical professionals that fail to competently perform the medical duties, medical my practice rules are related to notifying the doctor ahead of time and the timing of the lawsuit are going to vary dependent on the state that you are in. However there are general principles and rules that are going to apply to almost every medical malpractice case in existence.
Medical practice is going to be a very particular subset of negligence, therefore if you feel like you or a loved one may have been damaged by medical professionals’ negligence, which means they have failed to adequately perform their duties, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney, such as the ones available at Cohen and Cohen.
The first extremely important thing to know is that not all doctors are going to owe you a duty of care. In fact, for the duty of care to arise, you must have a doctor-patient relationship with the physician. So a doctor is not going to have a duty of care if they’re out eating at a restaurant or they are off the clock, and somebody and that restaurant begins to choke. There is no duty of care because there is no such relationship pre-established and the physician is not on the clock.
In a doctor-patient relationship, a doctor owes a “duty of care and treatment to that degree of skill, care and diligence as possessed by or expected of a reasonably competent physician under same or similar circumstances.” Essentially, this means that if you have a doctor-patient relationship established, then your physician owes you the best duty of care that they can give you that any other competent physician would give you in their place. Not meeting this is negligence.
Secondly, you have dereliction which refers to the failure of a medical professional to meet the duty of care that was previously discussed, basically they are not providing the patient with the care and treatment that you need and they were expected to provide as a reasonably competent physician. This failure is commonly referred to as a breach of duty, which is where most medical malpractice arguments occur and can be very difficult for patients because medical professionals are reluctant to criticize their peers’ performance, much less testify against them.
Furthermore you must be able to prove direct causation of the injury or death, being caused by the professionals breach of the duty of care that was responsible for the damages. This is often straightforward, but it can be another area where arguments on both sides are going to be heated and extensively long.
The patient must be shown to have suffered damages, and they must be shown to have suffered harm, physically or mentally or both, by providing medical records, prescriptions and testimony on their behalf.
Reaching out to a medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, MD is your best option if you have any questions about a medical malpractice suit, even if it’s just to find out if you qualify for one.