All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.
How do you prove medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice cases have several requirements. The patient must have received an injury that was caused by the negligent actions of his or her doctor.
To expand on this a little, the doctor or medical professional involved must have entered into a doctor and patient relationship, as in they agreed to provide the patient treatment.
Also, the doctor must have been negligent in their treatment. Negligence is a legal concept that comes into play in many lawsuits, and for a person to be considered negligent they must have acted in a way that a reasonably prudent person would not have acted under the same circumstances. In the case of medical malpractice, the standard is that the doctor must have acted as a reasonably prudent doctor would have, since as a doctor, we expect him or her to have more knowledge in the medical field than an average person would.
It is also necessary that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury to the patient. If the doctor was negligent, but that did not impact the patient in any way, there would likely be no cause of action to pursue. Additionally, if the doctor was negligent and that patient was injured, but not by the negligent act of the doctor there would also not necessarily be a viable claim. To illustrate, if a doctor negligently prescribed the wrong medication, but the pharmacist discovered the error before it caused any harm to the patient, there would not have been a case for malpractice, because no harm was caused. If a patient was injured at the doctor’s office when she tripped on her own bag which she left on the office floor, then even if the doctor was also negligent by failing to diagnose the patient’s condition at the same visit, the injury from the fall was not related to the negligence, and there would not be a medical malpractice case.
Medical malpractice cases are often complicated. Expert witnesses are often crucial in proving these cases because they will have to provide credible medical evidence of what happened or what went wrong.