When they are being treated medically, patients rightly expect doctors and other professionals to be of sound mind. However, the reality is that addiction issues and drug/alcohol abuse can impact people in the medical field just as much as anywhere else. Individuals in California who have been treated by a doctor or other medical care professional who made a mistake due to being under the influence may have legal options, depending on the evidence available.
To take legal action against a physician or other professional who you believe to have been under the influence at the time you were treated, you will need to show:
- Evidence that malpractice occurred — that is, that treatment was below the appropriate standard of care.
- Evidence showing the damages that resulted from the malpractice. This can include medical costs, loss of income or other pain and suffering.
- Evidence that the professional was under the influence. This can be challenging, but it can be possible for those who save any evidence related to the treatment, including notes of what happened when the professional was seen.
Even if it is not possible to prove that the professional was impaired, it still may be possible to prove negligence. This can result in a successful lawsuit and damages paid regardless of whether the burden of proof is met with regards to drug and alcohol use. Those who are looking to pursue a medical malpractice suit should speak to a California lawyer about their options.