Understanding Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Requirements

Understanding Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Requirements

Law Offices of Steven Zwick Oct. 8, 2021

Medical malpractice is a serious charge, and because of this, there is a process and requirements in place to ensure the accuracy of the charges. It is estimated that around 40 times each week, surgery is carried out at the wrong site.

Even in cases of gross malpractice like operating on the wrong body part, there are still requirements and processes that need to be followed to file a suit.

Establishing a Relationship

One of the requirements of a lawsuit for malpractice is the ability to establish a relationship between the claimant (you) and the provider (the doctor or hospital). Medical records, billing information, and other documentation need to be provided.

This may seem like a no-brainer requirement, but this rule is in place to ensure that people do not file frivolous suits. For example, if you are in an elevator and overhear a doctor providing advice and you follow that advice, and it results in injury. You would not have a case. You must have an actual relationship with the provider.

Proving Negligence

A key element of a malpractice lawsuit is being able to prove that the health care provider or hospital took steps that resulted in injury that a competent provider or facility would not have taken. A simple question is often the crux of these cases: “was the provider skilled and careful in their treatment?”. Additionally, another question needs to be answered: “did they follow a standard protocol that most medical professionals follow?”.

The Negligence Results in Injury

Medical malpractice must result in injury. In some cases, this can be difficult to prove. If a cancer patient dies because of negligence, it can be difficult to prove if it was negligence or the cancer that caused death.

Statute of Limitations

If you believe that you are the victim of malpractice, you must act quickly. In most states there is a statute of limitations for initiating a lawsuit. In some states, the clock starts ticking from the date of service. In some states the statute of limitations for filing a claim is three years, in other states you only have one year.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are often not open and closed cases. An experienced attorney can help get the outcome you and your family deserve. Learn more about how you can be compensated for health care providers’ negligence.