Complexities of Medical Malpractice
Medical Malpractice suits are one of the most difficult areas of United States law. They require enormous amounts of documentation and time and extensive knowledge in the legal and medical fields. In malpractice suits, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, meaning it is their responsibility to prove malpractice took place and serious injury occurred as a direct result. Here at the Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg, we will briefly explain how medical malpractice lawsuits are evaluated and why they often become extremely complex for all involved.
The Four Elements of Medical Malpractice
Virtually all malpractice suits follow an evaluation of four elements. The first is a legal duty on a physician’s part to provide care for the patient. Fortunately, this aspect is rather straightforward, but can become more complicated when considering Maryland’s Good Samaritan laws. Next is a crucial hinge upon which many suits swing, which is the “breach of duty” on part of the physician. This is determined by an idea called the standards of profession and stems from what can be reasonably expected from trained medical professionals when treating a patient. The third step in our medical malpractice considerations is proving a causal relationship between that breach of duty and the patient’s injury. Proving causation can be equally as important as proving breach of duty and carries far more complexities with it. On its face, this causal relationship may appear rather simple, but when you consider potentially great lengths of time between treatment and injury, involvement of multiple physicians and pharmaceutical companies, the complexities make themselves apparent. The last necessity for a malpractice suit to proceed is the existence of substantial and serious damages that result as a consequence of the malpractice. Even if there was a breach of duty in the care of a patient, if the patient was not harmed, the physician is not liable because no injury occurred.
Where Medical Malpractice Gets Complex
The practice of medicine requires some of the lengthiest, intense, and expensive training offered. The field is constantly evolving as new discoveries are made in pharmaceutical development, surgical techniques, and proper medical procedure. So it should come as no surprise that determining fault and direct causation can be hard to discern. For instance, causation can be tied to the scope of what the plaintiff told the physician about their medical problem, the extent to which the physician documented, reviewed, and followed up with the plaintiff on said medical problem. A physician can be held liable if they did not thoroughly inform the plaintiff of the risks and limitations of a particular procedure, given that the plaintiff was mentally competent and in a non-emergency situation. These examples barely scratch the surface of the complexity in medical malpractice, but serve to illustrate the bevy of considerations and events that influence medical malpractice trials.
Seek Help at the Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg
The complexity of malpractice suits impose a tough mental and physical burden on someone already suffering from medical problems, some which may have been inflicted by the very person they trusted to help them. If you think you have been the victim of malpractice, it is important that you consult legal representation with years of experience in medical malpractice litigation. Contact the Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg today to make your first step on the road to recovery.