Four Basic Requirements for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice occurs once a patient is harmed under the care of a doctor or other healthcare professional due to incompetence or negligence. However, medical malpractice claims are complicated since cases vary based on causation and standard of care.

Filing a medical malpractice claim is never easy. For instance, if a patient is involved in medical malpractice in South Carolina, they would need the help of the best South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer available to match the case’s complexity; mainly because requirements from different states often vary.

Medical malpractice lawsuit

What Do You Need in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

1. Proof of the Existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship

You are required to provide evidence of the doctor-patient relationship between you and your doctor. This means you have to show that you employed the doctor and the doctor accepted caring for you.

You can only file a lawsuit against a medical professional that has directly treated you; you cannot file a medical malpractice suit against a doctor based on something they said when consulting other patients.

2. There Has to Be Evidence of Negligence

You need substantial proof of negligent behavior from your doctor to file the lawsuit. Being unhappy or dissatisfied with your results or treatment is not a solid enough reason for a medical malpractice claim. You have to prove that a doctor’s treatment caused you damage that, under the same circumstances, would not have happened if you had been treated by a more competent doctor.

In most states, you’ll be required to get a medical expert to review whether the doctor carried out his treatment within the medical standards of care. If there is evidence of deviation from such standards, then a malpractice claim can be filed.

3. The Harm You Suffered Is Due to a Doctor’s Negligence

Since a malpractice claim often involves sick or injured patients, there is a need to determine what kind of harm the doctor’s negligence has caused the already sick patients. It is sometimes very arduous to prove that the actions caused the death of a terminally ill patient since it can be assumed that it is the illness that caused the death.

For a medical malpractice claim to be filed, it must be proven that had it not been for the doctor’s negligence, the patient would not have been harmed. This also requires the analysis of a medical expert.

Physician taking notes

4. Provide Evidence of the Specific Damages

Even after it has been determined that the doctor did not provide the best care, if the patient did not suffer any harm, medical malpractice cannot be claimed. The patient can file a claim if they suffered any type of harm included below:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Extra medical bills
  • Lost earning capability

The causes for the above harm may be the result of general medical errors:

  • Giving patients a medication that is on record as a fatal allergen
  • Error in the amount of anesthesia administered to a patient
  • Failure to diagnose a condition during the examination of a patient
  • Causing patient injuries as a result of improper handling or transportation

Know Your State Requirements for Medical Malpractice

Most states have special requirements for medical malpractice lawsuits; therefore, you need to know which statutes apply to your state and carefully apply them. Provide all necessary evidence, otherwise, you risk the dismissal of your case in court.