Can I Sue a Doctor for Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injury?
A hospital is where you go to care for your injury, not to make it worse. But for some patients, however, that’s precisely what happens. They step into a hospital with some injuries from an accident, but instead of getting the situation under control, they end up sustaining further injuries, pain, and suffering from the hospital. Maybe you are reading this article because you or someone close to you has been harmed in the hospital, and you’re wondering what the best course of action is.
If you have reasons to believe that the aggravation of a pre-existing injury was as a result of the doctor’s, nurse’s or hospital’s negligence or careless actions, you should contact a Miami medical malpractice attorney immediately. Usually, these lawyers will be able to tell you whether you have grounds to file for a compensation claim. Besides, cases involving pre-existing injuries are bound to be complicated than other kinds of lawsuits, so in most cases, you’ll need an excellent lawyer to help you seek compensation.
But as a guide, we’ll tell you when you can sue a doctor for an injury.
If you have been hurt because of negligence on the part of a health care provider or facility, you may hold the defendant responsible if you can prove four essential elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit. These elements include duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty means that the responsible party is required to act appropriately and reasonably and that he or she was responsible for offering some treatment or care to you. Duty is often met when there’s a patient-doctor relationship.
A breach happens when the medical caregiver violates the duty that he or she owes to you, and therefore falls below or deviates from the standard of care. Examples of a breach include improper care, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose, medical errors, neglect, and unclean environment.
Causation is where the breach of the standard of care on the medical professional’s part leads or contributes to your harm. This is usually the hardest part to prove because you’ll need to show a connection between the doctor’s negligence and the resulting injury. It gets tricky since the defendant may argue that the damage would have occurred and been the same, even if the negligence hadn’t happened.
Damages is where you demonstrate that the caregiver’s negligence caused some harm – whether it’s financial, physical, emotional, or otherwise. Injuries include emotional distress, pain, and suffering, medical costs and bills, wrongful death (if the patient died), lost wages, and punitive damages.
When to sue
Basically, if your injury meets all the above elements, then you can successfully sue a doctor for medical negligence and malpractice. But as mentioned above, these cases can be complicated. They often hinge complex legal and medical questions that you may not be able to respond to. That’s why you need professional experience and skills to stand a chance. If you believe you have a legitimate case against the responsible parties, it may be best to discuss with a medical negligence lawyer.