Hospital visits do not always have happy endings, but not all medical setbacks are the result of negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a medical mistake, you may have questions about the cause of the injury. Was it unavoidable or due to an acceptable level of human error, or does it rise to the level of malpractice?

For an injury suffered in a medical setting to be legally actionable, a few important factors must be present.

Was the injury caused by care that deviated from an acceptable medical standard?

Medical professionals, like everyone, make mistakes from time to time. The questions in medical malpractice cases is whether the treatment fell below an acceptable standard of care. Another way to look at this question is this: Would other medical professionals in the same situation have made the same mistake or was it the result of obvious carelessness?

Answering this question is one of the key elements to a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, which is why it is always important to consult with an experienced lawyer before making any decisions.

Are there damages?

A medical professional may have committed malpractice in treating you, but if you haven’t suffered significant damages as a result, your options for legal recourse are limited. Damages in medical malpractice claims include:

  • Additional medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

If your suffering has been significant, you may have a valid claim. If not, there may be little an attorney can do for you. In any event, it’s not your job to know.

Talk to a lawyer first.

Medical malpractice is a complex area of law, and the proper evaluation of a claim should be conducted by an experienced attorney. You do not have to figure out if your injury or medical setback is due to malpractice, but you can benefit greatly by talking to a knowledgeable lawyer about your claim.