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Legal Terminology That May Help With Your Medical Malpractice Case

Legal Terminology That May Help With Your Medical Malpractice Case

If you’ve been the victim of a mistake by a medical professional, you deserve compensation for any injuries that may have resulted. To obtain this compensation, you may need to file a medical malpractice suit, which will include the following terms and concepts:

• Standard of care. This term refers to the level of skill and treatment considered appropriate by most medical professionals. In a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff seeks to prove that his or her physician did not provide a proper standard of care, which caused his or her injury or illness. In practice, this could mean that the medical professional performed a procedure incorrectly, grossly misdiagnosed you, or prescribed an incorrect medication.

• Damages. If you win your medical malpractice lawsuit, you will be awarded financial compensation known as damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs. Damages can be divided into two categories: economic, which pay for actual dollar costs like bills and missed work, and non-economic, which are meant to compensate for pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and other factors that are difficult to quantify.

• Statute of limitations. The judicial system imposes a limit on the amount of time you have to file a medical malpractice suit, known as the statute of limitations. The purpose is to force plaintiffs to file lawsuits in a timely manner, instead of waiting until evidence and memory fade and the case becomes less clear.

• Proximate cause. To prove medical malpractice, the plaintiff must show that the act performed by the doctor led directly to the injury sustained. It does not need to be the only cause, but it must be identifiable as a causal factor. This relationship is called proximate cause.


If you’re dealing with an injury caused by a medical error, call (202)529-9379 to speak to an attorney at The Rich Firm about filing a medical malpractice suit. The experienced attorneys in our Washington, D.C., office can help you recover the damages you need.