Medical malpractice is more common than the average person knows. To make matters worse, medical malpractice insurance claims will make your life even more of a headache if you happen to be a victim. When it comes to proving medical malpractice, ask yourself the following questions before you speak to an attorney.

Did malpractice actually occur?

This seems like an obvious question, however it is also very necessary. With medical malpractice, when you are starting to put a case together, medical negligence needs to have happened. “Could’ve happened” or “almost happened” doesn't cut it. What counts is what happened and how the doctor actually responded. We hear a lot of stories about close calls, and while this is startling, it doesn't make a medical malpractice case.

Did you suffer significant damages?

Let’s say you suffered due to the medical negligence of a doctor or the medical staff. Sure that’s a bummer, but how significant was it? The bad news is that it may not even be worth your time. If were prescribed too much medication and you became ill for a few days but had a perfect recovery, you probably don't have a case. The costs of pursuing a lawsuit will probably exceed the amount you can recover. Unless there is some significance to your pain and suffering, odds are most medical malpractice attorneys won’t take your case.

Was it malpractice or "poor bedside manner"?

Proper medical treatment does not equal hospitality. Medical malpractice is when a doctor or the medical staff makes a decision that deviates from the standard of care. While a great staff and doctor make a good hospital experience, a poor experience does not equal a malpractice case.

You can order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, to learn more about medical malpractice. If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at or call (703)584-7277.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney