What to know when suing a medical practitioner for malpractice

suing a medical practitioner for malpractice

Health and wellbeing are sacred to us all, which is why all of us seek medical attention whenever something is amiss. Countless times, you’ve found yourself in the caring arms of a medical practitioner in search of medical services for various reasons. High expectations and a great deal of trust are often bestowed on doctors.

Without realizing it, well, probably due to the ailment, it’s not uncommon to refrain from asking too many questions while at your doctor’s office. But then again, we’re all imperfect beings, including doctors, and regardless of their level of training, anything can happen. 

While it’s true that everyone is entitled to their opinions, the exasperations felt after a doctor fails in their responsibilities are disappointing. Some medical malpractices may be understandable, but when it’s malpractice that threatens one’s life or leads to another debilitating condition, steps must be taken in seeking an explanation. Unfortunately, most medical malpractices are as a result of negligence, and evidently, medical malpractices are a leading cause of death in many countries.

The harsh truth is that everyone is at risk of medical negligence and when it happens, it often leads to lawsuits and legal battles. Nonetheless, knowing what to do and how to go about dealing with a case of medical malpractice will go a long way in compensating you for damages while making sure that it doesn’t happen to others or potentially saving a life as the at-fault doctor could have their license revoked.

Before we get to the main juice of this article, however, it helps to understand what medical malpractice is in the first place? 

The Definition

As earlier mentioned, medical malpractice occurs as a result of negligence from a medical practitioner’s (or a healthcare giver) part. It may also happen when a healthcare provider provides substandard treatment, causing more harm to a patient. On the other hand, it can also be as a result of diagnostic errors, errors in after-care treatment, or errors during the management of an ailment.

Affected patients are eligible for compensation after such malpractices but only when they seek compensation through the right channels from the parties involved. In this article, we’ll be tackling six things you need to know when suing a medical practitioner for malpractice.

1. Know Your Rights

Before anyone turns this into a witch hunt, a majority of medical practitioners are good at what they do and they exercise the highest standards of care to their patients. However, at times, things can go wrong, resulting in grave danger to the patient. It’s very important that as a patient, you know and understand your legal rights against such vices. Some of these include:

  • Doctors reserve the legal duty to provide you with quality medical care
  • There should be no delays in diagnosis
  • Doctors must inform you of the risks involved during medical procedures or when administering treatment
  • Hospitals have a duty to provide standardized medical care 

Now, while all of this is true, not all medical mistakes will be as a result of negligence and the only way you can know this is when you’re fully informed. This is why working with a competent and experienced attorney will help to have some of these things sorted out. According to Terry Bryant, a personal injury attorney in Texas, if you’re a victim of any form of medical malpractice, you’ll be well within your rights to seek compensation for the adverse cost of your condition.

He adds that an experienced prescription drug injury lawyer can identify reasons why you need to sue for malpractice if you believe or suspect that certain drugs that were prescribed to you have led to more harm or further suffering. Perhaps a pharmacist made errors when labeling the meds, or the doctor made the wrong prescription. Maybe they prescribed you an overdose.

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will be an added advantage in your case because they possess the skills required in handling such cases and in addition to this, they have all the resources at their disposal to help you pursue your claim. 


2. Types Of Medical Malpractices

Types Of Medical Malpractices
A lot has been said over the errors made by doctors and other medical practitioners due to negligence. But little is known about the impact these errors and omissions can have on the victims. Most victims of medical malpractices are forced to live with life-changing outcomes. The effects can range from emotional/psychological trauma to physical alterations. While it’s within your rights to sue for medical malpractice, some states provide a limited statute of limitations, meaning that you may not have enough time to file a lawsuit depending on the severity of your condition. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical errors – This may include unintentional perforation, leaving foreign objects in a patient, and operating on the wrong organ
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Medication errors
  • Birth injuries 

3. Errors And Omissions Insurance

This is a type of medical malpractice insurance or medical professional liability insurance that protects healthcare providers against any claims of neglect causing harm to patients. If you read through part of the introduction, you must have noticed the term expectations. Now, a medical practitioner is expected to provide you with the best care possible. But as we’ve established, things can go wrong, leading to a dissatisfied (or injured) patient.

As a result of the doctor’s transgressions, you are expected to sue for the damages and any bodily harm after treatment. Your doctor is, therefore, protected against any malpractice claims filed against them, but this doesn’t mean that they are off the hook. If you wish to sue, you can do so, but there is an option of settling the case outside courtrooms.

The most common errors and omissions claim will stem from professional oversights, breach of contract, misunderstandings, and undesired outcomes. Considering the intricacies involved in medical malpractice cases and in our case, the aspect of the errors and omissions insurance, it may be wise to resolve matters out of court, something that a good injury attorney can help with.  

4. When Can You Sue A Doctor?

This is among the important things to know when suing for malpractice. The first thing you need to know is that you must act quickly. As earlier mentioned, different states have different statutes of limitations regarding medical malpractice. Before your window of opportunity expires, you need to do the following:

  • Contact medical malpractice lawyers who can help you build your case
  • Contact the doctor responsible
  • Contact the medical licensing board
  • Know your state’s statute of limitations
  • Get a medical assessment
  • Take advantage of an out of court settlement

The best time to sue your doctor for malpractice is after being assessed by another medical practitioner in proving that your condition is a result of medical malpractice. With all the documents available, including documentation of your injuries, medical records, and an attorney by your side, you can seek justice and compensation for your injuries. 

5. What You Need To File A Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice claims are sought after by patients who’ve been hurt, injured, or harmed as a result of poor diagnosis or poor medical treatment. To file a medical malpractice claim, you’ll need to provide the following;

  • Medical records
  • Written medical opinions from other doctors
  • Medical expert witnesses
  • An affidavit of merit
  • Insurance records 

What to know when suing a medical practitioner for malpractice 

6. Malpractice Lawsuit Expenses

One thing to note is that malpractice lawsuits are expensive. This is because, to prove your case, you need to hire expert witnesses such as respected medical specialists. Hiring expert medical specialists will cost you thousands of dollars and without them, it’s hard to win a medical malpractice case. So, it’s important to be prepared financially to meet this and other associated costs such as court fees and legal fees.

Needless to reiterate, experts believe that medical malpractices are among the major causes of post-treatment deaths, making it important to pursue your claim if you have proof of negligence. You deserve to be compensated for the pain, emotional stress, and trauma caused by the injuries. The above pointers will provide you with all that you need to know when filing a medical malpractice claim. 

To add to this or start a conversation, join our forum to share your opinions with other readers. For stories of this sort and more, do well to log on to www.jbklutse.com or visit us on Facebook



JBKlutse's Pick

Photo of author


John-Bunya Klutse

To add to this article or start a conversation, join our forum to share your opinions with other readers. For stories of this sort and more, do well to log on to www.jbklutse.com or visit us on Facebook.

Leave a Comment