Medical malpractice is a striking example of negligence that lead to a severe injury or death. Generally speaking, medical malpractice denotes a legal offense that happens if a medical professional does not perform his or her duties properly due to negligence. Medical professionals include doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, opticians, pharmacists etc.
In Cyprus, medical malpractice is covered by the civil law (Cap.148). However, many times, a medical malpractice case in Cyprus considers a dispute over the ‘standard of care’. The term ‘standard of care’ denotes the level of skill, expertise and care practiced by medical professionals under some particular circumstances. In Cyprus, ‘standard of care’ is often determined through consultations from medical professionals who practice or teach medicine in the same specialty as the defendant. The expert’s testimony is essential since a lack of recovery or injury does not imply that the ‘standard of care’ has not been followed.
I list some outstanding examples of medical malpractice.
- Wrong diagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical accidents
- Dental negligence
- Birth injury claims
- Improper treatment
- Failure to provide an adequate diagnosis
- Substandard and unnecessary surgery
- Claims related to misperformance of pharmacists, opticians, physiotherapists, chiropractors and other medical professionals.
In the case of a severe injury or death, a litigation lawyer will help you to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice so that you and your family receive an adequate financial compensation that corresponds to the economic and psychological damage you suffer.
Some important legal aspects of medical malpractice in Cyprus:
First of all, a litigation lawyer will study the case thoroughly so that to decide if there are enough evidence. In other words, the lawyer will examine if the client has a case to prove. Second of all, the lawyer will analyse all the facts provided by the client. In this point, it should be underlined that the plaintiff must provide any proof related to medical malpractice and the reason he or she considers there was a medical negligence. Furthermore, the plaintiff must prove the results of medical negligence, for example, an injury or death. In other words, the client should provide the lawyer with all the relevant details. Afterwards, the lawyer will proceed with the necessary procedures.
A litigation lawyer will take into account many aspects including whether patient’s behaviour led to the bad medical result, i.e. if the patient followed Doctors recommendations. Then the lawyer will begin investigating the case. The litigation lawyer will consider the view of medical experts and other relevant investigators during the whole process.
I recommend you to follow the steps below:
The legal framework related to a personal injury caused by medical malpractice is perplexed. As a result, a professional legal assistance is required and essential.
Apart from asking for a professional legal support I suggest to have in mind the following steps:
- Ask your doctor to explain to you in details what has occurred. Based on the Law 1(I)/2005 the patient has the right to receive a written report that will include details about the diagnosis, the medical treatment and his or her health state. Moreover, the report must include the relevant risks and benefits of any medical care or surgery before it is carried out.
- If you are still in the hospital, proceed to a formal written complaint. This particular process could be a useful tool to receive essential information about your treatment. I would advise you to ask for a written response by the hospital manager whether that is possible.
- Ask for your medical files. The provisions of the Patients Law (1(I)/2005) imply that patients are entitled to receive copies of their medical records from their doctors and/or hospitals. Medical files contain essential information that may support your case in the court.
- Provide adequate proofs, such as photographs or videos that demonstrate the visible results of medical malpractice. The latter will contribute to highlight the severity of medical malpractice.
- Write down important details. You might have the impression that this experience is unforgettable. Nevertheless, this does not guarantee that you will remember important details that may support your case in the court. I would advise you to note names and dates regarding the injuries on a daily basis, in order to recall relevant facts in the future.