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What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

blurred image of a crowded hospital waiting room

If you have been injured by a medical professional or product, you may be considering a lawsuit. However, just because a doctor failed to treat you properly doesn’t mean you necessarily have a case. In order to prove you have a medical malpractice claim, you must prove the following.

A Doctor-Patient Relationship Was Established

You must prove that you had an established relationship with the doctor who committed the malpractice. This means you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to examine and/or treat you. Generally, clinics and hospitals keep appointment and medical records on file, so this is easy to prove—especially if your regular physician is to blame. An example of this not applying would be if you followed the advice you found on a medical professional’s post on social media.

The Doctor Was Negligent

Being unhappy with your treatment does not equate negligence. Also, sometimes treatment simply doesn’t work—there is only so much modern medical science can do to treat and cure certain ailments. Your doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment to be held liable for your injuries. You must prove, with evidence, that your doctor or nurse caused you harm in a way that a competent medical professional would not have under the same circumstances. Many people seek out a medical expert to back up the claim that their doctor did not treat them adequately.

The Doctor’s Negligence Caused the Injury

Sometimes it can be difficult to prove that your doctor is actually to blame for your injury. This is because many people go to a doctor when they are already suffering. Therefore, in certain cases, it’s hard to say who caused your injury—your doctor or your illness? For example, if a patient dies after being treated for cancer, and the doctor did something negligent, it could be tough to prove that the doctor's negligence caused their death over the cancer.

The Injury Led to Damages

Finally, you must prove that your doctor’s negligence lead to a specific degree of harm. This is generally a physical injury, such as a doctor leaving a piece of medical equipment inside a patient’s body during surgery. However, this can also include emotional trauma or lost wages from missed work.

What Happens If I Do Have a Claim?

In Alaska, you have two years from the date of the incident to file your medical malpractice claim. When you are ready to file, or you need advice, contact a lawyer. Our medical malpractice lawyer at The Law Offices of David Henderson has years of experience competently and compassionately handling medical malpractice cases in Alaska. You can count on us to get you the compensation and care you deserve.

If you or a family member or friend has suffered an injury while in the care of a medical facility, our Anchorage medical malpractice attorney can help. Contact us today to get started with a free, remote consultation.