The real key to any successful medical malpractice claim is being thorough every step of the way. You should have a great deal of evidence to support your claim so that you can prove several elements in your case. These common elements of a “winnable” case include:
- You had an established doctor/patient relationship. You must be able to prove the doctor in question was treating you, which should be relatively easy to show. Any time a doctor prescribes medication, provides a treatment or conducts an examination, there is an established doctor/patient relationship. There doesn’t need to be any written contract, as long as the doctor provided you with medical care. Usually, medical bills or records are enough to prove this relationship took place.
- The doctor clearly made a mistake. Doctors are expected to provide care that is “reasonably competent.” A physician is considered to be negligent when he or she fails to provide a standard of care other competent doctors would provide under the same circumstances. The burden of proof is on the patient to prove exactly what kind of care other competent doctors would provide. A strong, “winnable” malpractice case involves obvious negligence on the part of the doctor.
- The doctor’s mistake clearly harmed you in some way. This type of harm may include physical pain and suffering, costly medical bills, a loss of wages or earning capacity and a loss of the enjoyment of life. The greater the harm, the greater the strength and value of your malpractice claim will be.
For more information on what you should do when a doctor’s negligence has negatively impacted you or a loved one, consult the knowledgeable North Carolina medical malpractice attorneys at Lanier Law Group.