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4 things you need for a medical malpractice claim

“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.” These are the wise words of the physician William Osler. You may not have heard of him, but you probably know the John Hopkins research hospital he founded. It produces the interactive map that tracks the pandemic statistics.

There are no guarantees when you deal with the medical profession. No doctor can guarantee that the medicine they prescribe will make you better, or that your surgery will succeed. They deal in probabilities, not certainties.

So it can be a big disappointment when something does not work out as you hoped. However, that does not mean you can automatically bring a claim for medical malpractice. Four factors need to be present to do so:

  1. Damages: You cannot bring a claim for a lucky escape or near miss. There needs to have been injury or suffering.
  2. Direct Cause: The damage needs to be traceable to the actions or failures of the person you are claiming against.
  3. Deviation: Did the person do what others of their experience would have done in the same situation? Or did they stray from what would be expected, whether through choice or negligence?
  4. Duty: If something serious has happened, it can be tempting to search for someone to blame. However, you need to establish this person or institution had a duty of care to you. The doctor who treated you probably did. The doctor at a party that recommended the hospital where your incident happened, probably did not.

Having read this information, if you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, seek legal help to get a qualified opinion.