What Does "Liability" Mean in a Medical Malpractice Claim?

How Do I Know if my Doctor is "Liable" in DC, Maryland, or Virginia?

 

As a patient, you trust your doctor to take the care of you with the utmost diligence, regardless of the severity of any health issues you may have. However, we know that sometimes doctors make mistakes. While we all hope that these mistakes are innocent and harmless, terrible things can happen if a doctor is negligent. Regardless of whether they intended to harm you, doctors and hospitals may be held responsible for any injury they have caused you. 

 

It’s scary to think that even in routine procedures – such as this ACL surgery done on a high school senior that led to his death – things can go wrong. But if you’ve experienced wrongful injury as a result of a doctor or hospital, you know that it is possible, and you understandably want to hold someone responsible for the pain you’ve been forced to deal with.

 

If you’re looking to file a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, you’ll need to be able to prove that the medical treatment you received fell below an appropriate standard of care and is the cause of your injury. Though it isn’t your job to create the legal argument in your case – that’s your lawyer’s job – it is helpful to understand the general framework of how your lawyer will help you to prove that the hospital or doctor whom you are suing is liable.

 

First of all, it must be clear that a “doctor-patient relationship” existed – this just means there must be a record of the fact that the doctor at hand provided some sort of treatment to you. The more difficult point to prove, however, is that the doctor did not treat you with a reasonable standard of care.

 

This can be shown by calling experts in the field – like other doctors or nurses – to testify about what they and other doctors might have chosen to do while treating you if they were in your doctor’s shoes. Then it must be made clear that your doctor not only acted inappropriately, but that the wrongful decisions they made are the central reason that you were injured, and it must be evident that those injuries you incurred are negatively impacting your life.

 

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, you probably expect that your case meets each of these standards pretty obviously, since you witnessed the entire situation first-hand. The tricky parts of medical malpractice cases are getting expert witnesses and ensuring that there is enough evidence – legally this is called a “preponderance of evidence" – to back up the claim that a doctor’s negligence caused your injury can be difficult in some cases.

 

The intricacies of malpractice cases may seem overwhelming, but that’s not what you should worry about – that’s where your attorney comes in.

 

The most important thing you can do is reach out to a lawyer who can help you figure out how to best move forward with a lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases can be heartbreaking, and it is important to find an attorney who can assess your case properly, and will fight for you to get compensation and resources that you need to continue on with your life. 

 

We work tirelessly to help people of all ages and walks of life who have experienced all sorts of injuries as a result of medical malpractice. If you’re wondering if you have a case, call us at 202-393-3320. There’s no risk or obligation for calling, and we don’t get paid unless we make a recovery on your behalf.