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Liability in a Medical Malpractice Claim

Posted by attorney Brenton Adams

Medical malpractice liability may lie with doctors and other medical professionals who fail to provide acceptable care to patients. All doctors have a duty to provide reasonable care when treating patients, and although most doctors provide good care for their patients, there are cases in which patients are provided substandard care that can lead to harm. In these cases, a personal injury attorney in Raleigh should be contacted.

A 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year due to medical errors. Meanwhile, a 2009 report from Consumers’ Union noted a lack of progress since the IOM release a decade earlier, and the number could be more than 100,000 deaths per year.

But in addition to fatal errors, medical mistakes can cause serious health conditions, including disabilities, which require costly lifelong care. If you are a victim, contact a personal injury attorney in Raleigh to help you determine medical malpractice liability.

Who can hold medical malpractice liability?

Although most think of doctors and surgeons as being liable for medical mistakes, liability can be attributed to any person or entity in the health care field such as:

  • nurses;
  • physician’s assistants;
  • dentists;
  • dental assistants;
  • eye doctors;
  • chiropractors; and
  • hospitals, doctors' offices and clinics.

Elements of Medical Malpractice Liability

Doctors have a duty to provide medical care that is aligned with the standard of care. Once they begin treating a patient, they are liable for any medical-related events that happen due to healthcare negligence. Failure to diagnose a condition or perform a medical test may be considered negligence if another reasonable professional would have been expected to act differently. A personal injury attorney in Raleigh can go over the elements as they pertain to your case, but in general, the elements of medical negligence are:

  • a doctor/patient relationship;
  • breach of standard of care;
  • proof that the breach caused the patient’s injury; and
  • presence of injury in the patient.

Proving Medical Malpractice Liability

Liability may be difficult to prove because the defendants typically are the only ones who were present when the alleged malpractice occurred, and they write their own reports. Therefore, a medical malpractice lawsuit can become a game of “he said, she said" quickly. Unless the victim and his or her legal team can prove that the doctor caused the injury – by proving, for example, that the victim could not have caused the injury – then a case can be difficult to win. Contact a personal injury attorney in Raleigh for help obtaining evidence.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Raleigh

Liability for injuries can be attributed to one or more parties. A lawyer can use expert witnesses and other strategies to help determine liability. Victims should work closely with a lawyer to file a timely claim and recover compensation owed to cover damages like medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Brent Adams is a personal injury attorney in Raleigh who can help patients with a claim of medical malpractice to establish liability. Call (910) 892-8177.

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