4 Steps To A Medical Malpractice Claim

If you have been injured by a doctor while he is treating you, you may be wondering what remedies are available. Medical malpractice lawsuits are the means to get compensation for the wrongful actions of a doctor. The following are the four main steps to winning a medical malpractice suit.

1. Doctor and Patient Relationship

The first step to winning a medical malpractice claim is to prove that you had a specific doctor/patient relationship with the doctor who harmed you. This is particularly easy to prove if you were visiting the doctor at his office or were being treated at a hospital. Simple medical records can prove this. The doctor/patient relationship element only becomes difficult to prove if the doctor was just a consultant or if he was off-duty.

2. Negligence

Once you have established the doctor/patient relationship, the next step is to prove that the doctor was negligent in the way he treated you. That means that the doctor was not acting the same way as a reasonable doctor would act under the circumstances. Doctors must follow reasonable medical standards of care when treating patients.

This is often the most difficult element to prove, because doctors are not expected to always give the best care. They are given a little bit of leeway. Ways that you can establish that the doctor was acting negligently include finding testimonies from other doctors, comparing the doctor's actions to medical safety guidelines, and proving that the doctor was doing something he was not qualified to do. Another factor that might help your case is whether the particular doctor who worked on you has had complaints in the past.

3. Injury Causation

Not only must your doctor act negligently, but you must also prove that his wrongful actions caused you harm. Often an individual may already be extremely sick or injured when he or she first visits the doctor. If this is the case, it may be difficult to prove that the doctor caused additional injuries, even if he or she did actually act negligently. You can prove harm by saving medical records, and comparing your health before and after your doctor visit. Common damages alleged in medical malpractice claims include pain, suffering, lost wages, and additional medical expenses. 


If you prove that your doctor acted negligently and his negligence caused you harm, you may be entitled to an award of damages. Consult with a personal injury attorney in your area to determine the best course of action for you and to estimate exactly how much your case may be worth.