Any medical procedure may cause anxiety, but for the most part, medical health providers do their best to ensure that they do not make mistakes that cause further harm. When the outcome of the procedure leaves you feeling worse instead of better, you may wonder if you have the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If a Georgia physician, nurse or other health care professional provides you with such substandard treatment that you wind up more ill or injured than you were before you sought his or her medical help, you have the right to sue him or her, plus the organization for which (s)he works, for medical malpractice.
Unfortunately, medical errors account for the third most deaths in the United States. Despite this depressing news, however, medical malpractice still remains one of the most difficult and complicated types of lawsuits to bring to trial and win.
Elements of proof
To prevail in your medical malpractice suit, you must produce sufficient clear and convincing evidence to prove all of the following four things:
- The health care professional you are suing owed you a duty of care
- (S)he and/or the facility that employed him or her provided you with a level of care inconsistent with and substandard to that level of care
- You suffered actual monetary damages because of his or her breach and your consequent injury or illness
- His or her breach formed the proximate cause of your injury or illness
Standard of care
Each type of health care professional practices medicine with a different type of medical license and under a different standard of care. Consequently, the expert witness you and your attorney engage to testify in your behalf as to the substandard care you received must not only hold the same academic degree as the medical professional you are suing, but must also practice medicine in the same specialty or subspecialty as (s)he does.