Patients must rely on the knowledge and skills of medical professionals. Mistakes can cause great harm or even result in death, yet not every error is considered malpractice; certain conditions must exist for a situation to qualify. Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine whether or not you have a case.
The first condition is an established doctor-patient relationship. Seeing a doctor and receiving treatment fulfills this requirement. Following advice that a friend received from his or her physician does not equal a relationship. Sometimes, the matter remains open to interpretation: When a physician consults on your case but does not directly treat you, the doctor-patient relationship is not as clearly defined.
Second, there must be proof that negligence occurred. Malpractice is not an issue of being unsatisfied or not receiving the highest level of attention and care. There must be actual negligence, meaning that the doctor or other medical professional did not show a reasonable and expected level of skill. Proving this element is often the core of a malpractice case.
Third, the negligence must be the specific cause of an injury. Serious illnesses and conditions often exist prior to an incident of questionable care, and proving the cause of a problem may require consultation with a medical expert.
Finally, there must be explicit harm. Without provable damage, a patient cannot sue for medical malpractice. Examples of harm may include mental anguish, physical pain, loss of work or earning capacity, and the acquisition of additional medical expenses due to the injury.
Malpractice generally occurs in situations where a physician failed to diagnose a condition, provided improper treatment, or neglected to notify a patient of treatment risks. Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are experienced in handling such cases and are ready to help you discover your rights and legal options.