How Does a Medical Malpractice Claim Work?

Professional malpractice, or professional negligence, is basically a lack of care. Unsuccessful surgery is not necessarily negligent. Many surgical mistakes do not always constitute negligence either, especially if they did not cause physical injury.

Somewhat similarly, a negligence claim doesn’t “blame” anyone for an accident. Instead, this claim is about responsibility and compensation. We all make mistakes, and we are all responsible for the mistakes we make. If a doctor, clinic, hospital, or other entity voluntarily takes responsibility for its mistake, there’s no need for an attorney to get involved. If the defendant drags its feet, as is usually the case, a Kansas City personal injury lawyer must intervene.

Gathering Facts

Victim/plaintiffs have the burden of proof in court. Therefore, collecting facts is perhaps the most important part of a negligence claim.

A good lawyer uncovers as many facts as possible. That includes the facts which support a claim for compensation and the ones which could erode the claim. An attorney must build a case and also anticipate likely legal defenses.

The facts themselves are like pieces of an unassembled bookcase. They are just a pile of nothing until a skilled attorney puts them together properly.

Legal Liability

As mentioned, if the medical malpractice example constituted a lack of care, financial compensation is usually available.

The medical standard of care usually comes into play. Doctors must follow established procedures. For example, if you break your arm, the doctor must physically examine you, run some tests, like an X-ray, put your arm in a permanent cast, replace the permanent cast with a smaller one, and then order physical therapy. A breakdown in any area could constitute negligence.

Financial Liability

The clinic, hospital, or other entity which employed the doctor is usually responsible for damages from a financial perspective. The respondeat superior rule states that employers are responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the scope of their employment.

These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Since doctors have such a high duty of care, if they are negligent, jurors typically award additional punitive damages as well.

Medical negligence victims are entitled to compensation and justice. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Kansas City, contact the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm. We routinely handle matters throughout the Midwest.

FAQs

What are the most common kinds of medical malpractice?

Surgical mistakes, including medication errors, misdiagnosis, and birth injuries are the most common examples of medical malpractice.

How much is my medical malpractice claim worth?

The facts, mostly the size of the medical bills and scope of the error, usually determine how much a case is worth.

What does a “fiduciary duty” mean?

Doctors must shove aside all other priorities, including making money, and only do what is best for their patients.

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