According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, 93.6 percent of children and 85.1 percent of adults had recently visited a healthcare professional in the year 2017. Reports show that in that same year, there were 883.7 million visits to a physician’s office. 54.5 percent of visits were visits to primary care physicians (CDC, 2018). When people make visits to the doctor or take their children or parents to the doctor, they generally do not anticipate something out of the ordinary occurring. Likewise, in a situation where a patient must undergo a procedure, they may not be too nervous about the outcome, because their doctor and performing surgeon provide information on what the process entails, and any potential risks involved.
Patients trust doctors and medical professionals because of the years of education and training they receive in preparation for their jobs. Doctors take oaths and vow to ethically treat those in need and minimize their ailments to the best of their abilities. For this reason, it is shocking when doctors and medical professionals do not successfully fulfill their duties and end up harming their patients.
The Basics of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Individuals who feel something went wrong, and they incurred damages following treatment from a doctor or medical professional should pursue a medical malpractice claim. A legal expert, such as a medical malpractice lawyer in Nashville practicing at Cummings Injury Law, should be consulted to help a patient prove their case and receive compensation for damages. To initiate the claim, the malpractice lawyer and the client file a suit against the doctor and the hospital or medical facility that employs them.
The patient must have a claim that meets the criteria of the four Ds of medical malpractice claims, which are duty, dereliction, direct causation, and damage. The patient and the malpractice lawyer have the task of proving that a doctor’s negligence directly caused physical, mental, or emotional harm to the patient. Patients must document their medical expenses and any changes in their lifestyles or ability to work and demonstrate why the negligent actions of a doctor, rather than an existing health problem, caused such changes. To help the case, the patient and the lawyer could have another medical professional agree to write an affidavit, in which they state that the offending doctor who harmed the patient did indeed perform their duties incorrectly and negligently. Such testimony would assist a patient in proving that a different, competent doctor would not have hurt them under similar or the same circumstances.
Things to Know About Insurance Companies
One thing to be aware of when initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit is that when a doctor accused of wrongdoing and the hospital or medical facility that employs them gets sued, essentially, the doctor’s insurance company gets sued as well.
If the doctor in the lawsuit has medical malpractice insurance, their insurance company will typically pay for an attorney to defend the doctor against the accusations the patient has made about them. Additionally, the insurance company is usually responsible for paying the settlement reached in the case.
Patients should also be mindful of their own insurance company and insurance policies. Before even receiving medical attention in the first place, but especially after filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, patients should be aware of what kind of coverage their health insurance provides. Many people are not aware of all the things they should consider when purchasing insurance. People who are not well-versed in insurance matters, as well as those who are, can benefit from using insurance guides like those provided by Muller Insurance. As long as someone knows what they need to be covered and knows how much coverage they may need, they can use insurance resources to help them decide what insurance policies to get.
Insurance guides can help people make informed decisions about what kind of insurance coverage would best fit them and offer protection. Similarly, legal professionals experienced in medical malpractice suits can represent patients and protect them, providing mental and emotional support while fighting on their behalf for the compensation they deserve after enduring negligent medical treatment and acquiring damages.