Medical malpractice is a serious issue – not only in the United States but all over the world. However, when it comes to pediatric medical malpractice, things are even more complicated Evidently, as a parent, you are responsible for your child’s wellbeing and health. This is why you should know what pediatric medical malpractice means, and the steps you should follow in this unfortunate scenario.
Expressly, pediatric medical malpractice occurs when a medical practitioner – be it a pediatrician, a nurse or a pharmacist – deviates from the recommended standard of care and, due to an act of negligence, the young patient is injured. It seems that one in three pediatricians face a lawsuit, as a result of such negligent actions.
The Malpractice Lawsuit
Generally speaking, a malpractice lawsuit due to pediatric negligence is closely connected with these 2 elements – the harm that occurred due to the negligence and the negligence on the part of the healthcare provider.
With that in mind, here are the main steps that should be followed for a successful result.
Getting an Expert’s Opinion
This is the first step you should take. Basically, when a doctor fails to provide suitable treatment that addresses the level of competence of other healthcare practitioners, then we would be talking about malpractice. In a lawsuit, it must be proven the connection between the existing standard of care and the way in which the pediatrician failed to address those specific standards.
It’s worth mentioning that the standard of care depends on distinct aspects. Plus, demonstrating the standard of care in a medical facility would require expert testimony. That is to say, the patient’s guardian or parent has to consult with an expert witness – usually through medical malpractice lawyers.
The qualified expert is supposed to voice his/her opinion regarding your individual situation and indicate what a prepared, competent pediatrician would have done in your given circumstances. In other words, this testimony should indicate that a different professional would have acted differently, which would have prevented the patient’s injury.
Establishing the Breach of Standard Care
Moving on, the next step is to point out the breach of standard care. For instance, considering that the standard of care required by the doctor for diagnosing meningitis is within 12 hours after the symptoms have emerged, failing to do that would mean that the standards of care weren’t provided.
Essentially, at this point, this should be presented in contrast with the way in which the pediatrician did or failed to do his job in your situation.
You Must Present Proof
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the elements of the case have to be demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence. What does this mean? Well, it means that each aspect is more likely than not to be true. Hence, a victim of malpractice is best represented by a knowledgeable attorney that is acquainted with the regulations and laws concerning medical care.
Determining the Harm that Resulted Due to the Negligence
In order to win a medical malpractice suit, it must be demonstrated that the doctor’s negligence led to foreseeable harm. Bear in mind that this harm can take more than one form. This includes pain and suffering, as well as the costs associated with present and future treatment.
This is, in fact, the most critical step of the lawsuit – to point out that it was the negligence that caused the harm. It won’t be enough to claim that there was a mistake that triggered the injury. For example, mistakenly diagnosing a condition is a thing, and the worsening of a child’s condition is another thing. The key is to prove the way in which these two are linked.
Evidently, an experienced attorney will know how to build the case and to display credibility for higher chances of success.
Avoid Making Contact with Other Parties
As a rule of thumb, your attorney is your main contact when it comes to anything related to the case. This is why you should avoid discussing with other parties. To that end, you shouldn’t contact any healthcare providers or any other person working at the medical facility. That’s because anything can be used against you in a lawsuit. And by allowing your attorney to tackle the case for you, you are more likely to obtain the results you want.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a complicated process. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you should give up on your right to get compensation if the law is on your side. This is why we advise you to get your facts straight beforehand, make sure you have a cordial relation with any third parties and collaborate with an attorney you can depend on throughout the entire duration of the lawsuit.