A medical malpractice claim generally is a claim against a health care provider. A health care provider can be a physician, hospital, clinical or nursing home, dentist, registered or licensed nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychologist. Principles of negligence generally apply, except that the standards are those of the medical profession. Like negligence claims, this may consist of duty, breach of duty and causally related damages. It may be necessary to prove that the health provider failed to meet the standard of care and that the injuries sustained were the direct result of the health care provider’s negligence.
There is a medical causation element to a medical malpractice claim. The plaintiff must present an offer of proof, and the tribunal then determines if the evidence presented if properly substantiated is sufficient to raise a legitimate question of liability or whether the plaintiff’s case is merely an unfortunate medical result. It is very important for any attorney representing an injured party to be fully prepared for any type of hearing relating to any type of medical malpractice claim. Damages related to a medical malpractice claim may include past and future medical bills, loss of wages or loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering as well.
Another possible issue relating to a medical malpractice claim is informed consent. Every competent patient has a right to decide whether he or she wishes to undergo medical treatment. To make this decision properly, the patient must be able to evaluate the risks involved in the medical treatment. To make this evaluation, the plaintiff must be given sufficient information by the physician.
As with many forms of litigation, there are certain statute limitation considerations regarding medical malpractice, medical error or medical mistakes. In addition, there may be other statute limitation considerations depending upon the capacity of plaintiff, including whether the plaintiff is a minor.