Suing for Malpractice: Everything You Need to Know

How to Sue a Doctor: Medical Malpractice Basics

When something goes awry with your medical care or the outcome is not the one that was expected, some people investigate how to sue a doctor to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. However, not every treatment error is a good candidate for a medical malpractice case.

A 2016 report published in the BMJ, shows that medical errors in hospitals and other health-care facilities may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States, causing at least 250,000 deaths every year. “Throughout the world, medical error leading to patient death is an under-recognized epidemic,” reports the paper’s lead author, Dr. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

If you’re wondering what constitutes a medical malpractice suit and what’s needed to move forward with a lawsuit against a doctor — here a few medical malpractice basics that are important to know when you’re thinking about how to sue your doctor.

When and How to Sue a Doctor

A number of situations can lead to a medical malpractice claim — from a doctor making an error during an operation to failing to warn a patient of side effects from a prescribed medication.  However, with most personal injury cases, you must have suffered actual damages as a direct result of negligence of your doctor in order to have a legit medical malpractice suit.

In fact, because malpractice suits are usually very high risk and require a significant financial investment and time commitment, many medical malpractice lawyers will only consider claims that involve serious injuries such as loss of a limb, disfigurement, paralysis, impairment of a bodily function or death.

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