3 Requirements for Medical Malpractice Claim in Vermont
Do I have a medical malpractice claim? Here are the three things you need to have.
Medical carelessnessEvery medical malpractice claim starts with carelessness. A doctor, nurse, or hospital (or dentist or any other health care provider) is required to use reasonable care. If they make an error because they treated you, or failed to treat you, in a way that no reasonable provider would, that's medical carelessness. This is called "negligence" or "malpractice".
Most medical problems are not caused by carelessness, by the way. Many times doctors and other providers use their best judgment at the time, and give you good care, but you get sick or have some other problems anyway. That's not a medical malpractice claim.
Carelessness caused you harmThe carelessness we talked about in step 1 has to cause some disease or loss to you that wouldn't have happened if the doctor or other provider was reasonably careful. A lot of times, people get sicker or have pain or other problems even though they have had good care. Other times a medical error is made, but the patient gets better anyway. To have a medical malpractice claim, you must get sicker or have some other harm because of the medical carelessness.
You've been harmedThe final piece of the medical malpractice claim is the harm, or "damages" that it caused. Sometimes there isn't a lot of harm caused by an error - for example, if you are misdiagnosed at first, but then correctly diagnosed and treated, there is often not a lot of harm done. But if you are misdiagnosed and you lose an opportunity to get well (for example, you have cancer that grows worse before it is caught), that's the harm that the carelessness caused you.