Medical malpractice occurs when physicians, nurses, hospitals, or other healthcare providers cause injury or death to a patient by failing to provide the required standard of medical care. The standard of medical care refers to how similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances. You must prove the following elements when filing a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice in Oklahoma in order to obtain an award for damages:
Health Care Provider Owes a Duty of Care to the Patient
When a health care provider (example – physician or nurse) examines a patient for a medical injury or condition, a doctor-patient relationship forms. This relationship establishes a duty of care owed by the health care provider to the patient. As a medical malpractice plaintiff, you must demonstrate that a doctor-patient relationship existed in your legal claim.
The Health Care Provider Breached That Duty
Next, you will have to show that the health care provider breached the prescribed standard of care owed to you.
The Patient Suffered an Injury
You must prove that the health care provider’s negligence caused the harm or injury to occur.
There is a Casual Connection Between the Healthcare Providers Breach and the Patient’s Injury Must Exist
But for the health care provider failing to meet the standard of care, your injury would not have occurred.
Medical Malpractice Damages:
Upon filing your medical malpractice personal injury claim, you will have to state the type of damages you seek to collect against the defendant to compensate you for the injuries you incurred as a result of their negligent act.
Under Oklahoma State law, compensatory and punitive damages are available. Compensatory damages are to put you in a position that you would have been in had the injury not occurred. Such damages consist of medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of earnings and future loss of earnings.
Punitive damages may be awarded to you if the defendant’s negligent action was reckless, malicious, or intentional. Such damages aim to punish the defendant in order to prevent similar conduct from occurring in the future.
In the event the jury finds that the defendant’s action as reckless, the amount of punitive damages awarded cannot exceed the greater of $100,000. Neither can it exceed the amount of the compensatory damages awarded.
In the event the jury finds that the defendant acted with malice in intentionally causing harm to you, the amount of punitive damages awarded cannot exceed the greater of $500,000, twice the amount of the compensatory damages awarded, or the increased financial benefit derived by the defendant or insurer as a direct result of the conduct that caused your injury.
Modified Comparative Negligence:
Oklahoma has adopted the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under this doctrine of law, a portion of your damages may be reduced by the amount of your comparative negligence.
For example, you will recover damages only if you are less than 50% at fault for your medical malpractice injury. Meaning, if you are more than 50% at fault, it bars you from recovery. As a result, your reward amount is directly proportional to your level of fault.
Contact an Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Attorney:
At the Midtown Tulsa Injury Law Office, our attorneys will work diligently to obtain the best settlement on your behalf. If you would like a free consultation, please call (918)379-4096 or fill out this form.