Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but it is preventable on so many levels. When it doesn’t result in death, there are often serious health concerns that follow. If you or a loved one had a negative experience at the hands of a medical professional, you could be compensated for your losses. How do you determine whether you have a medical malpractice case?

Did a Doctor Have a Duty To Provide Care?

The first thing you should ask yourself is whether the doctor had a duty to provide care for you or your loved one. As your legal team can explain, like the lawyers at Hayhurst Law PLLC, you would need to prove that a doctor/patient relationship existed to even have a case to begin with. If you have medical bills from the doctor’s office, that can be used as evidence to show the relationship. Unfortunately, if your friend is a doctor and he or she recommends a certain medication or way of life, and it ends up making your condition worse, you couldn’t prove that your friend had a duty to provide care for you.

Did a Doctor Breach the Standard of Care?

The next thing you’ll ask yourself is whether the doctor breached the standard of care for the particular health condition you’re dealing with. Did the doctor act in a way that other medical professionals would have frowned at in the same situation?

For example, perhaps you have a certain skin condition that most doctors would prescribe a topical cream for, but your doctor conducted a minor surgery instead. Maybe that surgery ended with an infection that cost you thousands of dollars to fix. The other doctors would be able to testify that your doctor took the wrong course of action and breached the standard of care.

Did the Breach Cause You Harm?

There are several situations in which a doctor breaches his or her duty to care for a patient, but it doesn’t result in any serious harm. To have a medical malpractice case, as a personal injury lawyer victims trust can attest, you would need to prove that the breach did cause you harm. For example, if you already had a health condition, you couldn’t try to blame it on the doctor after he or she breached the standard of care. If your health condition was made worse, or you can prove that another condition occurred, you could resolve that the breach caused the health condition.

Medical malpractice is something that shouldn’t happen as often as it does. If you feel you might have a case, consider learning more about whether your situation warrants taking legal action.