Can I sue my doctor for nerve damage she caused?
Being able to sue your doctor is one thing; what matters is whether
or not such a lawsuit will end up being successful.
First, we would obviously need to know more about how your
nerve damage came about. If it was a result of a surgical procedure, remember
that no surgery comes without risks, and there is never a guarantee that you’ll
end up with a favorable result. These risks are communicated to the patient as
part of the doctor’s duty to obtain informed consent
before beginning any course of surgical treatment.
Another way of putting this is, just because something went
wrong and you ended up with nerve damage (temporary or permanent), that doesn’t
mean your doctor committed medical
In any medical malpractice lawsuit, the keys are:
1) establishing the appropriate
medical standard of care under the circumstances of your medical treatment --
what would a similarly skilled and competent doctor have done (or not done)
during the course of your medical care
2) proving exactly how the care your doctor provided fell
short of that standard, and
3) showing that your doctor’s provision of sub-standard care
caused you some kind of measureable harm -- by making additional medical care
necessary, prolonging your recovery, causing you to miss work, and so on.
Obviously, you can’t prove these things alone, and neither
can your attorney (usually). That’s why most medical malpractice cases hinge on
the hiring and testimony of the right expert
medical witness. In fact, many
states require the participation of an expert in medical malpractice cases
unless fault is obvious.
by: David Goguen, J.D.
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