According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.” Studies show that medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. These statistics are sobering and victims and the families of those who lose their lives to medical malpractice often wonder what options are available to them.
What Proof is Needed for a Minnesota Medical Malpractice Case
Proving you’ve suffered an injury due to malpractice is not always as straightforward as you may think. There are specific proofs required to file a claim including:
- Relationship – this is usually the easiest part of the proof; you have to have been treated or diagnosed by the medical practitioner establishing a doctor/patient relationship.
- Negligent care – if you were given a drug accidentally for treatment of an illness you did not have, a surgical procedure was performed that you did not need or if a doctor or nurse acted in any manner that is not consistent with how another medical professional would act in the same situation, it could be considered negligent care.
- Cause of illness or injury – other professionals must be able to act as an advocate indicating the cause of your injury or illness was a direct result of the medical professional’s action or inaction.
- Proven loss – as a victim of medical malpractice, you must be able to show that you have suffered some sort of damages. Losses can include time from work (lost wages), medical bills you would not have incurred except for the malpractice, etc.
Minnesota Medical Malpractice Damages and Consequences
When a patient goes to a doctor for care, they have an expectation the doctor will not make their condition worse. However, surgical errors, medication errors and misdiagnosis will not only have an impact on your overall health, it could lead to permanent disability and even death. There is an increased possibility of malpractice when a patient goes to an emergency room; too often, in the process of providing emergency care basics such as asking about allergies are overlooked.
Working With a Minneapolis Medical Malpractice Attorney
Anyone who believes their doctor has failed to meet a reasonable standard of care required by law and has suffered an illness or disability as a result should contact a medical malpractice lawyer. You have the right to high-quality health care and to expect the best possible care. When doctors ignore symptoms, misdiagnose problems or prescribe the wrong medication, the results could be life-threatening.
Time Limits, Witnesses and More
There is a limited period of time, four years, to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Because of the complexity of the issues involved, the sooner you contact an attorney the more beneficial it will be to your case. Remember, your attorney will need to obtain your medical records, work with other professionals to determine the severity of the consequences of your new health issues, etc.
Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation for current and future lost wages, current and future medical bills and treatment as a result of medical errors as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
When your doctor messes up, it is crucial you reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. While we know doctors are not infallible, we are entitled to the highest level of medical care available and have an expectation the doctor will use his skills to improve our health, not make it worse.
If you believe you are suffering because of a medical error, contact Gilbert Alden PLLC at 612-564-3622 for a free consultation. We are committed to being a strong advocate for our clients and will help protect your rights under the personal injury statutes of Minnesota.