Medical Malpractice FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Medical Malpractice
Here are answers to common questions clients have when they come to our office with concerns about medical malpractice. For more information regarding your specific concern, please contact O’Brien Batten Kirtley & Coomer, PLLC today to schedule a free initial consultation.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a cause of action for damages against a health care professional or hospital. For a medical malpractice claim to be successful, you must show that the health care provider owed you a duty, failed to exercise the skill or care of another health care provider in a similar situation, and you were injured as a result. The main difference between a medical malpractice claim and a general negligence claim is that an expert usually must testify to establish liability and cause in a medical malpractice case.
Can I still sue for medical malpractice if I signed a consent form?
A waiver or consent form does not release a health care provider from liability in the event of negligence or deviance from the accepted standard of care in the medical field. If this were the case, doctors and hospitals would almost never be held liable for their oversights and mistakes because patients are required to sign a general consent form prior to being admitted to a hospital or undergoing an invasive procedure, except in emergency situations.
What should I do if I think medical malpractice has occurred?
If you suspect medical malpractice, talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Explain to the attorney exactly how the events you are concerned about occurred, and obtain your medical records so they can be reviewed by an expert in the medical field. You may want to transfer to another doctor or hospital if you are still in need of treatment or care.
How can I obtain my medical records?
As a patient, you have the legal right to obtain copies of your medical records by making a request, in writing, to the medical facility where you received treatment. In your request, include your exact, correctly spelled name at the time you received treatment, your social security number, your date of birth, and your patient number. Keep in mind that your patient number and your account number (printed on billing statements) may be different. You may need to make separate requests for records from different service providers, including the physician who treated you, the pharmacist who filled your prescription, and so on.