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What is the basis of a medical malpractice claim?

A clinical error can have catastrophic consequences, ending, shortening or impairing your life. It will not only affect you. It will affect your family too.

The standards you must meet to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit are higher than those needed for most other types of claim. Lawmakers want to discourage people from suing doctors because if it were too easy, fewer people would sign up to become doctors and the nation’s health would suffer.

Medical negligence claims rely on four things

The following must all apply to claim negligence by a doctor:

  1. You were harmed: If a surgeon cut off a body part for no reason, the damage is evident. Yet, some illnesses or conditions can be much harder to prove, and you will need to compile evidence from various sources.
  2. They made a mistake that most would not make: What would most doctors with similar training do in similar circumstances? You need to show your doctor did something unusual or against standard procedures.
  3. Their mistake is what directly caused you harm: Doctors might claim your injuries result from an infection you contracted after leaving the hospital. Or when another doctor saw you later. Linking your problem directly to someone’s action is vital.
  4. They had a duty of care toward you: If you cannot prove you were someone’s patient, you may not be able to claim against them. In that case, you might need to claim against someone else or against the hospital itself.

The effect of a doctor’s mistake could last your whole lifetime. If you believe you have cause to claim medical negligence, a professional opinion will be crucial to see whether you should proceed.