Professional negligence, or malpractice, describes a breach of duty of care between a professional and his or her client. Doctors, lawyers, and investment consultants are three examples of professionals who may come under fire for malpractice. Clients trust trained and certified experts with their finances and well-being. Breaking a contract or breaching a duty, resulting in damages to the client, may be grounds for malpractice claims. If you’ve been harmed, a knowledgeable Lincoln professional malpractice attorney at Powers Law can help you sort through these complex types of cases.
How to Prove Professional Negligence
Just because you didn’t get the medical, legal, or financial outcome you were hoping for doesn’t mean you were a victim of professional negligence. Malpractice means that the professional failed to use the expected levels of skill and care that other professionals would use in similar circumstances.
To prove negligence, you must prove four basic elements:
- If a doctor gives you medical advice at a cocktail party, you could not later sue the doctor for malpractice. You must have had an ongoing professional relationship with the defendant at the time of the breach of duty to bring a lawsuit.
- Professionals owe clients the duty to act properly and within the scope of their employment. Breaches of duty may include incompetent medical care, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, mishandling of a legal case, or careless financial advice that reasonable professionals in the same position would have avoided.
- The professional’s breach of duty of care must have caused your damages. If a lawyer mishandled your case but the judge dismissed it due to genuine lack of evidence, you likely cannot sue the lawyer.
- The negligence in question must have caused you some kind of harm or damages. Even if you prove that a doctor gave you an incorrect dosage of medicine, if the medicine caused no harm, you do not have a case. Damages can be physical, personal, emotional, financial, or to your reputation.
Proving professional negligence can be difficult, as most professionals strive to fulfill their duties toward clients and patients. The courts will only rule in the plaintiff’s favor if he or she can prove these four elements. At Powers Law, we can give you confidence in the courtroom. We have years of practice handling cases of professional negligence and aren’t afraid to take cases to trial. We are highly experienced injury lawyers in Lincoln, NE.
What to Do If You Suspect Professional Malpractice
After a malpractice incident, keep accurate records of anything related to your case. This includes any emails, text messages, and other communications between you and the said professional. Keep related medical bills, treatment plans, photographs of injuries, financial records, and other information that may help you prove your case. Create an organized file for these documents to make the claims process as simple as possible. Your Lincoln professional malpractice lawyer can investigate your case, but good record keeping on your part will help.
Time is of the essence in malpractice cases. As soon as you suspect professional negligence is at the heart of your personal injuries or damages, speak to an attorney. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better your chance of having a strong case. Evidence can get lost over time, and memories of your incident can fade. In Nebraska, you have two years from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice claim and four years for a personal injury claim.
Consult a Local Lincoln Professional Malpractice Attorney
The lawyers at Powers Law recommend you don’t wait. File while the details are still fresh in your mind and while you have time to protect critical evidence from destruction. Set up a free consultation at Powers Law today. Call our office at (402) 474-8000 or message us online to make an appointment.