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Key factors of a medical malpractice claim

While many physicians provide an excellent level of care, there are some who cannot or simply do not provide the necessary care and can put patients in danger. Thankfully, a medical malpractice claim can serve as a means of recourse in situations where a physician's missteps lead to injury or harm.

In order to build a proper case, it is important that parties fully understand what it entails. There are a few key factors of a medical malpractice claim.

Definition

Medical malpractice occurs when physicians do not utilize the appropriate level of care for their field. This can vary across different branches of the medical field; however, there is a standard of care that all physicians must uphold. A breach in this level of care may occur by a physician's improper action or lack of action, depending upon the situation. 

Proof

It is important to note that not every medical procedure that does not go as planned is a result of medical malpractice. In many cases, certain reactions cannot be avoided due to different factors, such as hereditary traits or preexisting conditions. However, there are some instances where a claim is valid. To prove such cases, claimants must support a few arguments, including the following:

  • There was a physician-patient relationship.
  • The physician did not use the proper standard of care.
  • The lack of care resulted in harm.

Medical records, expert witness testimony and other evidence can be very beneficial in the proof process. A knowledgeable attorney can help in gathering these types of evidence.

Possible damages

The types of damages that a party may claim depend upon his or her status. While medical bills are a common claim across the board, the patient can claim other damages that the family cannot, and vice versa. Also, in case of parents making a claim versus a child making one, the statute of limitations is different.

Being aware of these factors can help people develop solid cases. Victims who are considering filing a medical malpractice claim should take some time to review the law and process to make the best choice for their situation.

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