When a medical mistake crosses into malpractice, the victim has the right to pursue a settlement for the additional medical care they need and other losses. Proving medical malpractice can be complicated; here is an example of how your Atlanta medical malpractice attorney could construct your case.

The Basics of Medical Malpractice

A malpractice claim or lawsuit can be alleged against a medical care provider (doctor, nurse, surgical tech, or healthcare facility) if that caregiver’s medical error or misdiagnosis is thought to have caused you harm.

A valid malpractice claim could be brought if:

  • An established doctor-patient relationship existed, either by agreement or treatment
  • The medical professional has a legal obligation to provide you with a standard duty of care under established guidelines
  • The medical professional breached the standard duty of care and failed to fulfill their obligations toward you
  • This breach is the primary reason for your injuries or worsened medical condition
  • You suffered losses because of a worsened prognosis or because you needed additional medical care to correct the mistake

Each of these five elements must be met to prove that a medical error is actually malpractice.

Considerations for Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim

High-risk patients or those with significant health concerns may not respond to treatment or heal properly even when provided with the appropriate standard of care. It may be easy to blame the doctor when a treatment doesn’t work or when someone has complications after a medical care procedure. These situations wouldn’t be malpractice unless the doctor breached their duty of care for their patient.

This isn’t the only complication when proving a malpractice claim. The medical facility where a patient receives subpar treatment is often reluctant to admit that one of its doctors or other healthcare providers committed malpractice, or it might be unwilling to disclose mistakes made by its employees.

Another concern when building a malpractice case is that complications from misdiagnosis or a poorly performed procedure may not present symptoms immediately. It could be days or weeks before a botched procedure becomes apparent and years before they realize that a misdiagnosis meant their condition could have been caught early enough for better treatment options and a higher likelihood of a positive outcome.

How Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Prove Malpractice?

To determine whether you have a valid case, your lawyer will assess your current condition and compare it to your condition before you sought treatment or your condition now compared to what kind of outcome could have reasonably been expected from your original condition.

Once the attorney decides that you are a victim of malpractice, they can start gathering evidence to prove each of the elements of malpractice.

Establishing the doctor-patient relationship is fairly simple. You scheduled an appointment, went to it, and received a diagnosis or treatment or received treatment after an accident or injury, like a trip to the ER or urgent care.

Proving the physician owed you a standard duty of care is also simple. If the doctor, nurse, or other professional holds a valid medical license, they have a duty of care to all their patients.

Proving that you received subpar treatment is trickier. When the initial complaint is filed in court, Georgia law requires that it be accompanied by an affidavit prepared by a qualified medical expert. This affidavit provides a sworn opinion that at least one negligent omission or act occurred and the basis of that claim.

Your medical records, like diagnoses, lab work, X-rays, scans, and medical history, are also important to proving substandard care took place. Expert witnesses may testify that the doctor should have run additional tests on someone with your history and symptoms or explored other causes for your symptoms.

Do You Have a Malpractice Claim?

If you believe your situation meets these medical malpractice criteria, call W. Winston Briggs Law Firm and speak with an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney about your case. Call us today at (404) 522-1500, and let’s talk about how we can pursue the compensation you deserve.