If you have been seriously hurt by a doctor or other medical professional in Iowa, receiving damages for your injuries is the way the civil court system can get you justice for your harms and losses.
However, before you can receive compensation, you must prove that medical malpractice occurred. This may be more complicated than you think.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice Occurred in Iowa
There are 4 things you must prove in a medical malpractice claim in Iowa:
1. There was a doctor/patient relationship.
2. That the doctor was negligent in their care. This can mean either they did something they shouldn’t have done or didn’t do something that they should have done. Either option can be considered negligence, depending on the situation.
3. Their negligence caused your injury.
4. Your injuries resulted in significant damages.
If any of those 4 things are not true, or you cannot prove them, then it’s unlikely you will be able to bring a successful Iowa medical malpractice case.
If you can prove those 4 things are true, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to collect damages for your injuries.
Types of Damages Available in an Iowa Medical Malpractice Claim
There are three types of damages an Iowa medical malpractice victim can receive: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are losses that are easily calculated. These can include lost wages and medical bills. If you believe you’re entitled to compensation for future medical treatment, or loss of future earning capacity because you can no longer do the job you used to do due to your injury, then an economic expert should be brought in on your case.
This expert will look at cost of living increases, inflation, your life expectancy, and other factors to figure out what you are owed.
Non-economic damages are damages that can’t be easily calculated through bills and invoices. They include things like pain and suffering, loss of function, and loss of consortium (also known as loss of companionship). It’s more difficult to put a price on how much your pain and suffering are worth. That’s why an attorney can be useful in calculating what the jury may believe your case is worth.
Finally, there are punitive damages. Punitive damages are not to compensate you for your harms and losses, but rather to punish the person who hurt you. Punitive damages in medical malpractice cases are rare, because you need to prove the medical professional intended to hurt you, or were reckless in their care. Generally, doctors do not mean to cause you harm – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for your harms and losses when they do hurt you.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Help with Your Medical Malpractice Claim
We recommend hiring an experienced Iowa medical malpractice attorney to assist you with your case. Medical malpractice cases are very complex for most people to understand. They are also expensive to try, as you need medical experts to testify that malpractice occurred. Hiring these experts can get pricey because they need to have the same skills and expertise as the doctor who hurt you.
Hiring an attorney will take the stress of finding experts and negotiating with the insurance company off your plate, and let you focus on healing from your injuries.
If you have been seriously injured by a doctor or medical professional, we may be able to help. We offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call 1-800-433-0283 today.