Medical malpractice claims are often a hot topic in news headlines, but like many legal issues, the details of these cases can be difficult to fully comprehend. Read on for a discussion of a few misconceptions many people have about proving negligence in these types of lawsuits.
Myth 1: Misdiagnoses Are Grounds for a Malpractice Suit
While misdiagnoses can lead to heartbreaking results, they are not in and of themselves sufficient for bringing malpractice suits. Physicians, nurses and other medical providers do hold a legal duty to their patients, but this does not mean that negative outcomes can always result in successful lawsuits.
Rather, it simply means that they must follow professional standards and protocols at all times. If a health care provider followed all appropriate procedures, ordered all necessary tests and came to a reasonable diagnostic conclusion based on these findings, she probably cannot be sued for delivering an incorrect diagnosis.
Myth 2: Doctors Will Not Testify Against Other Health Care Providers
In many cases, expert witnesses appear in court to testify about medical facts that have a bearing on legal issues. As medical malpractice suits deal with the protocols accepted and followed by the medical community, it makes sense that some of these witnesses would need to be physicians.
There is a misconception that civil suits will fail because doctors will not testify against other health care providers. This is simply not true. Many physicians chose their professions because they wanted to help people and are themselves upset when they witness medical negligence. These professionals are more than willing to speak out against health care providers who do not take patient care seriously.
Myth 3: Malpractice Suits Must Conclude Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
The statute of limitations is a time limit imposed on the filing of medical malpractice claims. It has nothing to do with when the case concludes. Potential plaintiffs who are concerned that it will take a long time to gather all necessary information to prove their case only need to worry about their filing date in regards to this time limit.
There are a number of technical nuances to proving a medical malpractice case. If you have any questions about the process, you may find it beneficial to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.