You must first understand what medical malpractice is.
If a doctor, medical professional or medical facility makes an error, it does not automatically mean that they are guilty of medical malpractice. True medical malpractice occurs when the treatment you received falls below the acknowledged “standard of care”, and as a result of this substandard treatment you the patient, suffered ill effects. Only in cases where the patient was harmed does medical malpractice apply.
The basic definition of “standard of care” in a medical malpractice lawsuit: The type of care and level that any, sensible, health care worker, that has the same education and experience level, would provide you under a comparable position in the same environment.
Ask yourself this crucial question: if you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit. “Would a doctor or other medical professional who has the same skill and education have prescribed the exact treatment if working with an identical set of circumstances?” If you believe the reply is “no” and you became injured as a direct result of the poor quality of treatment you received, you might have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit for medical reasons.
The first step in establishing your case is to find an expert that can testify as to the below standard care you received. Your expert should be a doctor that is familiar with or trained in the discipline as the professional that you are currently bringing a suit against.
Your expert will be called upon to:
- Ascertain what the expected “standard of care” is for your particular treatment
- Give expert examples as to how you received treatment that was below the accepted standard of care
- Give expert testimony as to precisely what happened when you were debilitated by the less than standard treatment you received
Often you will also be required to file a signed affidavit written by your expert testifying that they believe your case to have merit. An attorney whose specialty is medical malpractice has the knowledge to know whether this affidavit requirement applies.