What doI need to prove in a medical malpractice claim?

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What doI need to prove in a medical malpractice claim?

The foot doctor was cutting my father’s toe nails and cut his toe. The toe got infected and caused his foot to blacken. His leg had to be amputated.

Asked on June 14, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Joyce Sweinberg / Joyce J. Sweinberg

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

PLease let me add to my colleague's answer to tell you that there must be an expert opinion that the type of cut incurred was because the doctor's actions fell below the standard of care and that the results were directly connected to the cut.  You really should contact an attorney to discuss this. It is not something that you or your father should try to negotiate with the doctor.  If I can help in any way, do not hesitate to contact me.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.

Proving medical malpractice is proving negligence.  Negligence in a medical malpractice case is the failure of the doctor to exercise that degree of care that other medical practitioners in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm.  In your father's case, negligence would be based on the failure of your father's podiatrist to exercise that degree of care that other podiatrists in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm.

You should obtain your father's medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your father's injuries and will be used to determine the amount of compensation he receives for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for the medical bills and wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is not settled with the doctor's insurance carrier, your father will need to file his lawsuit against the doctor for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your father will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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