As a medical professional, your focus is on helping your patients heal and recover from their illnesses and injuries. As rewarding as your job may be, you have certainly had days when your work was exhausting and trying. Nevertheless, you maintain a high standard of care and do what you can to relieve the suffering of your patients. Nevertheless, not every case goes well, and some patients do not fully recover.
This is why it can be frustrating and demoralizing when a patient or family member files a medical malpractice claim against you. A malpractice claim is often difficult to prove, but it can disrupt your life and your career. You may find it helpful to understand the elements of a malpractice case and the standard of proof your patient must offer in court.
Not easy to prove
The decision to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice may be an emotional one. A patient who suffers a bad outcome or a family member who loses a loved one may be looking for someone to blame. Perhaps you said you were sorry when you told them the bad news, and they heard your apology as an admission of guilt. While the law prevents your patient from using your apology as evidence that you made a mistake, it may be enough to prompt an investigation.
However, to prove malpractice, the patient must demonstrate that you failed to provide the standard of care necessary for the circumstances. You understand that this standard is not always uniform from one case to the next. Your patient's condition may have required you to deviate from the text book procedure, and this does not necessarily mean you provided substandard care. Your patient records will play an important role in the case as well as expert testimony and reports from others on the medical team.
Who will advocate for you?
As difficult as it may be for a patient to prove medical malpractice, you do not want to take anything for granted. You may face a difficult battle trying to convince the court that your treatment did not breach the standard of care or that the patient's injuries did not result from reckless or negligent actions.
You may benefit from seeking skilled legal representation from an Iowa attorney who will build a defense strategy to suit your unique situation. When facing any legal issues that compromise your career, it is always wise to reach out for counsel and guidance.