No one is perfect, and sometimes mistakes are made. The unfortunate reality is that even the tiniest mistakes are amplified when someone is a medical provider and holds others’ lives in their hands.
Most individuals who become victims of malpractice do not bring claims against the medical provider, either from not knowing they experienced malpractice or because malpractice cases are notoriously complex. If you or a loved one believe you were a victim of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to act fast. Here’s how an attorney can help prove your claim.
The Basic Requirements for a Claim
In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, you must show that all of the following apply to the case:
1. A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must show that you hired your doctor and that your doctor agreed to be hired. You cannot sue, for example, for bad medical advice you overheard from a medical provider that was never your own doctor.
2. The doctor was negligent. Your doctor is required to be “reasonably skillful and careful,” so you must show that the doctor did not act with reasonable skill or care and that those actions (or inactions) caused you harm in some way.
3. The doctor's negligence caused the injury. You must show that the injury was a direct result of the actions of your doctor, not another injury or illness.
4. The injury led to specific damages. Once it is shown that the medical provider’s negligence caused the injury, you must show what specific damages you incurred. You cannot sue if you did not suffer any harm. Some common examples of types of harm that a patient can sue for include:
Mental pain and suffering
Additional medical bills
Statute of Limitations
It’s important to note that there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. In Charleston, cases “must be commenced within two years of the date of such injury, or within two years of the date when such person discovers, or with the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered such injury, whichever last occurs." What this means is that, as the patient, you must show that you did not or could not have discovered the injury or case of malpractice before you did.
Do not wait to take action - if you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, the malpractice attorneys at Berthold Law Firm can fight to hold your wrongdoers accountable.
Contact Berthold Law Firm at (304) 605-2040 for help pursuing your rights to fair compensation.