If you’re thinking of making a medical malpractice claim against a physician or health care provider, it’s important that you know the criteria you must meet in order to make a claim. It’s not uncommon for people to think they have a valid claim, when in actuality their claim does not meet all of the necessary requirements to be brought forth against a health care professional. Learn about the main requirements for a valid medical malpractice claim in our blog.
What are the Criteria for Making a Medical Malpractice Claim?
There are 4 main criteria for making a medical malpractice claim.
There must have been a doctor-patient relationship.
This is usually fairly easy to prove. If a doctor was seeing and treating you, then a doctor-patient relationship existed. The cases in which establishing a doctor-patient relationship may be an issue are cases where a physician was consulted but did not directly administer treatment.
The doctor was negligent, meaning he or she did not meet the standard of care.
When the doctor fails to meet the standard of care in his or her diagnosis and/or treatment, this is called negligence. Negligence must be present in order for there to be a medical malpractice claim.
So how do you prove negligence? You must demonstrate in your case that the doctor deviated from the standard of care. The standard of care is defined as what a competent doctor would have done under similar circumstances. For example, if the standard of care were to prescribe x medication, but your doctor prescribed y, then he or she would have failed to meet the standard of care, and been negligent.
This negligence resulted in an injury.
Just because the doctor was negligent, doesn’t necessarily mean it is medical malpractice. The next criteria that must be met in order for you to have a claim is that the doctor’s negligence resulted in an injury. The patient must provide that is more likely than not that the doctor’s negligence resulted in an injury, which is often done by providing expert testimony from other doctors.
The injury must lead to specific damages.
The patient must be able to demonstrate that the injury led to specific and significant damages that negatively affect their quality of life.