Of all types of personal injury lawsuits, medical malpractice cases are typically the most complex and difficult for plaintiffs to win. This is because the practice of medicine is detailed and complicated, and many of us lack the training and knowledge to pinpoint where a doctor erred or failed in delivering quality care.
To be sure, some medical malpractice claims are obvious, such as when a surgeon operates on the wrong body part. But most cases are much more subtle, requiring diligent research and witness testimony from medical experts.
Below are the four aspects of a litigated claim that need to be demonstrated in order to prove medical malpractice.
- There was a doctor-patient relationship: If you were being officially treated by a doctor (as opposed to, say, asking a question in passing), that doctor owed you a duty of care. You should be able to prove the doctor-patient relationship with medical records and billing statements.
- The doctor was negligent: There is a standard of care that doctors are expected to give patients. You usually prove negligence by demonstrating that other medical professionals facing the same circumstances would have acted differently. This typically requires testimony from an expert witness.
- The doctor’s negligence caused your injuries: After showing that the doctor was negligent, you must demonstrate that the negligence was the cause of your injuries. This may also require coordination with medical experts.
- You suffered damages as a result of your injuries: In this context, damages typically refer to financial losses. This could be lost wages, medical bills, the costs of adapting to permanent disability, etc.
Hire The Right Attorney
Not all personal injury lawyers are equipped to take on medical malpractice cases. Although a case contains just four elements, the time, work and resources that go into proving those elements is enormous. You need an attorney with the skills and temperament to take on your case and give it the attention and preparation it deserves.
To learn more about how our firm can help you, feel free to visit our medical malpractice page.