When can I bring a medical malpractice lawsuit?

When can I bring a medical malpractice lawsuit?

When something goes wrong following a doctor or hospital visit, many people wonder whether they should file a claim for medical malpractice. The answer is not simple, and requires a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney to conduct an in-depth review of the circumstances. However, a few guidelines exist to help determine whether medical negligence occurred.

The first question to answer is whether a doctor/patient or healthcare/patient relationship exists. In order to bring a medical malpractice claim, a doctor.patient relationship must be established. The relationship creates a heightened duty of care. While a formal relationship must exist - i.e. passing comments re care are not sufficient - the relationship does not have to be in person. Telemedicine and e-visits create the necessary doctor patient relationship. The standard of care that is created depends on the nature of the visit. The requisite duty is typically established through expert testimony setting forth what is typically expected for that practice type.

The next step in setting forth a claim of medical malpractice, is to demonstrate a breach of the duty of care. You must show that the doctor or other health care provider failed to do what is generally expected. Further, where this failure causes a patient harm, you may have a claim for medical negligence.

With the continuing pandemic, many necessary surgical procedures, routine check-ups and follow-ups have been postponed or eliminated completely. The impact of the virus on the medical field and what constitutes negligence is evolving. However, despite the changing circumstances, those who have received negligent care may be able to file civil claims. In order to understand your rights and remedies if you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, please contact the experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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