When you’ve sought medical treatment, only to have your condition deteriorate, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the provider for your losses. There are certain basic requirements, though, before you can successfully obtain damages against a doctor, nurse or hospital for injuries sustained.
You Must Have Had a Professional Relationship
Before you can take legal action against a doctor or nurse, you must show that you sought medical treatment. In most instances, that won’t be difficult to establish. If you scheduled an appointment or contacted the doctor and treatment began, the relationship has been established. However, if you talk to a physician in the grocery store or at church, it can be more difficult to make that connection.
The Medical Professional Must Have Breached the Requisite Duty of Care
You can’t sue simply because you didn’t get better. You must prove that the doctor or nurse failed to provide the necessary level of care. That standard is higher for medical professionals than it is for ordinary citizens—a doctor must provide the same or higher level of care that a reasonably competent and skilled doctor with similar background would have provided in the same medical community.
You Must Establish a Connection between the Negligence and Your Losses
You must establish that the breach of the standard of care caused you to suffer loss. That requires that you show actual cause—you would not have suffered the injury had the doctor not been negligent. It also requires a showing of “proximate cause,” that the injury you suffered was reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the negligence.
You Must Show that You Suffered Some Actual Loss
Even if you can demonstrate that the doctor did not meet the required standard, you won’t be able to recover compensation unless you can prove that it led to some actual loss, such as physical or mental pain and suffering, lost income or additional unreimbursed medical bills.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.
We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.