What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

doctors surgery

Since medicine is far from an exact science, recognizing when malpractice has occurred can pose a challenge. Just because a procedure doesn’t go as planned, for example, doesn’t mean the patient is entitled to sue.

In order to have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to prove the following four elements:

1. A Duty of Care

You cannot file a malpractice claim unless the provider saw you in a clinical setting. If your friend who happens to be a doctor shared general medical advice in passing, for example, you cannot sue him or her should the advice prove incorrect or inapplicable.

2. A Breach of Duty

If your physician followed the most widely accepted standard of care under the circumstances, you won’t have grounds for legal action, even if you ended up suffering serious complications. For malpractice to have occurred, your provider must have deviated from the established protocol in some way. In other words, you’ll have to prove that any other reasonable physician would have behaved differently in the same scenario.

3. Causation

It’s not enough that your provider breached his or her duty of care. To have a valid case against him or her, you must be able to demonstrate that the complications you suffered were a direct result of the negligence that occurred. Put another way, you must prove that you wouldn’t be in the condition you’re in but for the breach in question. 

4. Damages

The fourth and final element of every successful personal injury claim—including those involving medical malpractice—is damages. You must have incurred actual losses because of the substandard care you received.  

In Mississippi, recoverable damages include:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost income;
  • Loss of future earnings;
  • Home care;
  • Home and vehicle modifications;
  • Replacement services;
  • Domestic help;
  • Child care;
  • Physical impairment;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Mental anguish;
  • Loss of enjoyment in life;
  • Inconvenience; and
  • Pain and suffering.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you think you might have grounds for action against your physician, call a lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can evaluate the situation from all angles and help you determine how to proceed.

As for contributing to your legal team’s efforts, make sure to:

  • Avoid posting about the situation on social media;
  • Preserve your medical records;
  • Seek adequate care elsewhere;
  • Follow your doctor’s orders;
  • Start a personal injury journal; and
  • Save all receipts, bills, and invoices that correspond to your injury-related expenses.

Call 601-487-8448 to Discuss Your Case with a Jackson Medical Malpractice Attorney

At Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC, we’re proud to advocate for patients who have been wronged. If you were the victim of medical malpractice, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove that you are, in fact, entitled to compensation.

Our tireless team has recovered nearly $8 million for our valued clients. Call 601-487-8448 or complete the Contact Form on our website to schedule a free case review with a medical malpractice lawyer in Jackson.

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