Why Medical Malpractice is Distinct from Personal Injury Cases

Thinking of suing for medical malpractice? The process is a little complicated and here is why.

When you decide that you have suffered unfair treatment at the hands of a doctor or medical practice, your world turns upside down. We assume that these are the people who will take care of us when we need it most. Therefore, when they neglect us, fail to diagnose us, or otherwise place us in greater harm, we become understandably upset.

Doctors do not break the Hippocratic Oath often, but it does happen. Sometimes, mistakes happen and the facilities they work for try to cover them up. Other times, doctors try to make more money by inventing fraudulent schemes or performing unnecessary procedures and often without patient consent. 

Whatever the reason for your medical malpractice suit, you will find it is more complicated than just filing and forgetting. This type of personal injury law goes beyond an accident on the street and into the realms of disrupting your care. 

Medical Malpractice in America

A recent survey claims that 21% of Americans feel they have experienced a medical error in their adult lives. Further than even this, that same survey claimed 31% of all American adults had experienced negligence. In fact, the scale of medical malpractice in America is larger than it is in other countries who do not have private healthcare systems. When you introduce a monetary based healthcare environment, you open yourself up to rogue doctors who are unfit for duty but desperate to make money. Medical malpractice cases arise as a result. Between 2010 and 2019, an estimated $42 billion was paid in claims. 

Why is Medical Malpractice More Complex than Other Injury Cases?

Medical malpractice cases can be notoriously difficult to win. This is because you must prove three things before the judge will hear the case. These three things are as follows:

  1. You must prove a doctor-patient relationship existed
  2. You must prove that the doctor breached their duty of care to you
  3. You must show that your illness or injury has become worse as a direct impact from this lack of care. 

Proving that there was a doctor-patient relationship can be difficult, especially if the organization are in the habit of changing medical records. Once you jump that first hurdle, you must concern yourself with proving they breached the duty of care. This means gathering evidence, keeping notes, taking photos of your recovery, and even getting second medical opinions on your treatment or condition. 

Lastly, you must prove that your condition worsened because of the lack of treatment. If you live in a state like Illinois, this is decidedly more difficult because of the clause regarding professional witnesses. You must submit your case notes with a sworn statement from another medical professional that states that they think malpractice took place. This limits the number of frivolous cases the government had to deal with, but also makes it harder for residents to get the justice they deserve.

Medical Disclaimer: All the content available on the website is just for informational purposes. It’s not a substitute for any Professional advice. Don’t take it personally. As a medical student, I’m just trying to use my information through my content, and please keep in mind it’s not written by a professional doctor. Use the data just for educational purposes.

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