Experts in Medical Malpractice Laws
When is it Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated and expensive. In addition, court cases may take years to conclude. As such, it is imperative to consult with experts in the field of medical malpractice law in South Africa to help determine whether you have been a victim of medical malpractice, and if you will be able to prove such in a court of law.
With medical law also being a specialised field of law practice, it makes sense to use experts in medical malpractice laws, as litigation in court may be needed where a settlement cannot be reached out of court.
To prove that you have suffered injury and damage as the result of medical malpractice, you will need to prove the following:
As experts in medical malpractice laws will explain, you cannot claim compensation for medical malpractice from a practitioner who was not directly responsible for your medical care. You can thus not initiate legal steps against a doctor for providing an opinion about your condition, unless that doctor was your medical caregiver and responsible for treatment of the condition.
Proving that the doctor did not provide reasonable standard of medical care can be difficult. Medical experts will be called upon to help determine whether a similarly trained doctor, under the same type of circumstances, and having the same information at hand, would have acted differently to derive at a better outcome.
You must have suffered medical harm as the result of the action or failure to act by the caregiver. Even if the doctor made a mistake, but you have not suffered serious harm, you will not be able to initiate legal steps to get compensation for the mistake. It is important to understand that doctors can and do make mistakes. Only if those mistakes cause harm such as pain, suffering, financial losses etc. can it be categorised as medical malpractice.
The harm suffered must be a direct result of the action or failure to act by the doctor. As experts in medical malpractice laws will furthermore explain, you cannot get compensation for injuries caused by your actions. If you, for instance, took other medication (without the doctor knowing it) together with the prescribed medication and suffered harm as the result, you cannot blame the doctor. It is reasonable to expect that you would have read the insert to determine if you can use the two medications together. It is also reasonable to expect that you could have consulted with a medical practitioner before taking the two medications together.
Keep in mind that the action or failure to act must have been wrongful. If surgery was not successful, it does not mean that it is necessarily medical malpractice. If correct diagnosis was made in time, informed consent obtained regarding the surgery, correct surgical procedures followed, and appropriate aftercare given, then you cannot claim medical malpractice. It can only be medical malpractice if the action or omission thereof was wrong.
We recommend seeking guidance from experts in medical malpractice laws should you believe that you have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice in South Africa. Contact Adele van der Walt Incorporated today.
Information in this article is not intended as legal advice and is only for informational purposes. Please seek legal guidance from Adele van der Walt before relying on this information to make any legal decisions.