Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Hospitals are alarmingly dangerous places to be. The Journal of the American Medical Association listed medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the country. Only cancer and heart disease kill more Americans per year.
However, not every injury or death that occurs at a hospital counts as medical malpractice. To successfully pursue such a claim, your case needs to meet four essential criteria:
- You and the physician had an official doctor-patient relationship
- A doctor deviated from the standard of care
- You sustained a serious injury
- The injury resulted from the deviation from the standard of care
Most cases hinge upon that second criteria. Simply because an operation was unsuccessful does not mean that malpractice occurred. Many surgeries are extremely risky. However, if a doctor failed to warn you about potential effects that might result from an operation, that omission could qualify as a deviation from the standard of care. Other standard deviations include:
- Using unorthodox materials or methods during common operations
- Missing major warning signs that indicate a serious condition, such as cancer or stroke
- Operating on the wrong organ
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Performing the wrong operation
The best way to find out if you or a family member suffered medical malpractice is to consult with an attorney. A lengthy investigation is likely to follow this initial inquiry, but if true malpractice occurred, it will be the first step towards receiving the compensation you need to recover from the unjust harm you sustained.
Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area