It isn’t easy. The process involved in determining whether or not the actions of a medical professional caused the injury that a patient suffered is long and arduous. It will require that a malpractice attorney be retained for the purpose of discovering the answer to the question.
What the attorney will need to inquire about is if there has been any medical negligence. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional does something that causes injury to a patient as was described above, but it also includes the possibility of not performing a necessary action that resulted in harm to the patient. An example of an action that may cause injury to a patient would be to misdiagnose a disease. In that case, the patient would receive the wrong treatment and possibly be harmed by the treatment.
Acts of Omission
In the event that a medical professional does not order a test that would have shown something important that would have helped the physician correctly diagnose the condition, this is known as an omission. Omission is the second half of the definition of medical negligence. An example would be not ordering an MRI of the brain when a patient has been complaining of headaches and told that he just needs to take Tylenol. Later the patient may have been found to have a brain tumor that would have been seen on an MRI if the doctor had ordered it.
Standard of Care
How the legal industry decides whether or not the actions of a medical professional rise to the level of medical negligence is by the standard of care. This means that doctors are expected to give their patients the same type of care they would expect to receive from every doctor in the patient’s general area. If it is the standard of care in the area for physicians to order MRIs for people who are 50 years old and female when they are suffering headaches more than twice a week, for example, this is the standard of care that is expected to be met. If it has not been met, the lawyer will, most likely, find that the medical professional has been medically negligent.
In order for there to be a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient must be able to show that there has been an injury. Then the patient must demonstrate that the injury was the direct result of the medical professional’s mistake. Patients do this by retaining expert witnesses who will testify that the standard of care was violated. This type of case is not cheap and it is not easy, but if patients genuinely have a case, being able to prove it will help them decide to begin.