Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

How Do I Know if I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

Published on Nov 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm in Medical Malpractice.

When we visit a doctor or spend time in an emergency room, clinic, or hospital, we trust that we’ll be properly taken care of and that the staff members know what they’re doing. Despite this expectation, doctors and medical professionals make mistakes every day. One may argue that all humans make mistakes occasionally—and this is certainly true—but when we place our lives in the hands of another human being, the risk of a mistake happening has to be lowered to an absolute minimum.

People are sometimes under the impression that anytime a mistake happens in a medical setting, the victim can immediately file a lawsuit and win. This isn’t exactly true due to the simple fact that medical professionals do make mistakes sometimes. There’s a very significant difference between a mistake caused by human error and one that was caused by negligence, however. With a mistake caused by negligence, that mistake could have been 100% avoided. These are the mistakes that medical malpractice lawsuits are made to handle—and put an end to.

A successful medical malpractice case must effectively prove all of the following:

  1. That a doctor or medical professional (such as a nurse or technician, etc.) made a mistake or acted negligently
  2. That you were harmed or injured by the mistake or act of negligence
  3. That the injuries set you back financially in the form of medical bills and/or lost wages
  4. That there was an established doctor-patient relationship in place

As long as a doctor agrees to provide a diagnosis or follow up with a treatment plan, it’s safe to say that an existing doctor-patient relationship has been established. When you first enter an emergency room, for example, you won’t have an established doctor-patient relationship until you actually speak to a doctor about a diagnosis or decide on a treatment plan. This is one reason why doctors tend to be the only medical professionals who will agree to speak with you regarding a planned course of treatment.

Establishing that a doctor-patient relationship was indeed in place proves that the doctor or medical professional had a duty to treat you with a certain standard of care. When these standards of care aren’t met, negligence can be proven. Negligence can be caused by many things—from failing to read a lab report correctly to not spending enough time with a patient, making a misdiagnosis, or failing to ask about a patient’s allergies before administrating a new medication.

After a doctor-patient relationship is established, you’ll need to provide proof that negligence occurred. This can be done by proving that a mistake was made or that sub-standard care was given. Expert witnesses can be called on to provide proof that the doctor or medical professional failed to provide a decent standard of care. By comparing what your doctor/medical professional did to what should have been done, the jury and judge can clearly see that negligence occurred.

You’ll also need to provide proof that you were injured or harmed by the act of negligence and that these injuries cost you in the form of medical bills and/or lost wages. Any preexisting conditions or illnesses do not count. Similarly, any injuries that didn’t have a significant impact on your finances may also not count.

As you can see, medical malpractice cases are complicated. They’re one of the most complicated types of lawsuits to prove in court due to the above requirements as well as the fact that most hospitals and medical clinics are backed by major corporations with powerful legal departments. Despite this, a good medical malpractice attorney knows how to go up against major hospitals and will do everything they can to help you receive the compensation and peace of mind you deserve.

Louisville, Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer Tad Thomas and his team of expert attorneys at Thomas Law Offices are dedicated to helping their clients fight back against hospitals and major corporations that don’t always treat their patients with a decent level of care. Our hospitals may be full to the brim, but that doesn’t mean we should suffer as a result. Contact our Louisville office for more information or a free, zero-obligation case evaluation.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

When Prior Authorization Leads to Harm Caused by Delayed Care

In March 2023, the American Medical Association (AMA) released the results of a survey conducted on the impact of health insurance prior authorization (PA) on patient care and outcomes. The survey results revealed shocking information about the extent to which health insurance companies control the type of medical care patients receive. At Thomas Law Offices, […]

Read More

How Do I Sue a Hospital for Medical Negligence?

Medical errors and other types of health care professional negligence have soared in recent years. Data recently published by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) shows that at least 251,000 patient deaths are estimated to be attributable to physician mistakes or other types of medical errors annually. Countless others fall ill or suffer injuries while […]

Read More

Ohio Car and Booster Seat Laws

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and disability for children (aged 0-14) in the United States. But most of these deaths can be prevented. When we put our children in the car, we owe it to them to give them the safest experience possible. […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion