How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Helps Prove Negligence

How Can Overtime Impact Your Work Injury Claim?

When people suffer an injury at a hospital, they can file a claim with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. To recover damages, they must prove that the doctor and staff treating them were negligent and that the hospital is responsible for their injury. A medical malpractice lawyer is an essential asset in proving liability for medical negligence. He or she knows what evidence the judge is looking for, and is familiar with the strategies the defense may use to avoid liability.

Common Examples of Medical Negligence

There are many medical errors doctors and medical staff can make that result in injuries to patients. Some of the most common mistakes are:

  • Wrong diagnosis or treatment
  • Surgical errors 
  • Prescribing the improper medicine or giving an incorrect dose
  • Failure to properly sanitize equipment, leading to infections

How Can Victims Prove Medical Malpractice Negligence?

Although each mistake is unique, they are all forms of negligence. When patients are victims of a medical error, they must prove the doctor or medical staff was negligent to win a case against them. To prove negligence, the patient must show four things:

  1. The doctor or medical staff owed a duty of care to the patient. A duty of care is usually easy to prove because anyone who treats a patient automatically owes a duty of care.
  2. The doctor's and medical staff’s actions did not meet the duty of care. This element is harder to prove. First, the patient must explain what duty the doctor owed. Doctor's and medical staff’s actions are judged by what a reasonable medical professional in a similar situation would do. The patient must then prove that the healthcare provider did not meet that duty, or failed to act as a reasonable medical professional would.
  3. The patient’s injury resulted from the provider's failure to meet the duty of care. Patients must show that they would not have suffered an injury if the doctor or healthcare worker was not negligent.
  4. The patient suffered damages as a result of the injury. In order to recover financial compensation, patients must show that the injuries they suffered at the hands of a negligent healthcare provider caused them to suffer damages.

Medical malpractice lawyers can use evidence to support a patient's claim. Evidence in a medical malpractice claim can include medical records, hospital records, test results, eyewitness statements, expert witness testimonies, healthcare regulations, and photo or video evidence.

When Can A Victim File a Claim against the Hospital?

The hospital is responsible for the training and actions of the medical professionals they employ. Nurses and medical staff are typically employees of the hospital. Doctors, however, can either be employees or independent contractors. The hospital is not responsible for the actions of doctors who are independent contractors. Additionally, a hospital may be held liable for malpractice if its policies contributed to the injuries the patient suffered.

Retaining a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You Recover Damages

Filing a claim against a hospital or medical professional is complicated. A hospital injury lawyer can help victims fight to recover damages for their injuries. They have extensive knowledge about medical malpractice and can help victims decide if they should file a claim against the hospital or the individual medical provider. Further, they understand the evidence the victim will need to prove that the medical error caused the injury. Retaining a medical malpractice lawyer with Pothitakis Law Firm can help victims reduce stress in the claims process and recover a fair settlement.

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Photo of Niko Pothitakis
For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.