How to prove medical malpractice?

Updated on November 25, 2020

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When your medical care falls below the acceptable standard of care and causes you harm, then you need an attorney with experience and a high success rate. In order to receive compensation for a medical malpractice case, the attorney for the victim must prove that the medical provider failed to provide the standard of care and thus harmed the plaintiff. The burden of proof falls on the patient to prove that the defendant:

  • Was a doctor or other healthcare provider that you hired and that agreed to treat you
  • That the healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care
  • This departure from the standard of care caused harm to the patient
  • The injury led to specific damages such as physical pain, mental anguish, more medical debt, and lost wages

Types of Medical Malpractice

There are many different types of medical malpractice cases and the degree of negligence or recklessness can vary from case to case. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Birth injury
  • Failure to treat
  • Medical product liability
  • Surgical errors

Evidence To Support Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Your medical records are the most important documents you will need for your medical malpractice case. Specifically, you need documentation that illustrates what your condition was before your injury, and afterward. Your records will show what treatment you received, when you received it, at what dosage, and then how your condition changed after receiving it. You will also need documentation proving that a doctor-patient relationship existed. Lastly, you will probably need testimony from an expert witness, which is someone who can speak with authority on the area of practice that your injury is related to. Personal injury attorneys have access to many resources including expert witnesses. These are individuals who are extremely knowledgeable in a specific field and have developed quite a reputation in it. They are usually called in to testify in a variety of personal injury cases. For example, in a car accident, a reconstruction analyst can explain how a crash happened. Likewise in medical malpractice, an expert witness can explain how the defendant’s actions caused the victim’s injuries, to make it clear to the judge and the jury. You will need to work with your attorney to find out what you need to provide for your specific case.  You can read more about medical malpractice and personal injury law.

Legal Challenges For Medical Malpractice Victims

When you have surgery there are some risks that you must agree to take, and most likely you signed something to the effect that you accept that your surgeon cannot guarantee results, but that they will do their best to treat you. Another argument that defense teams try to use is that any surgery, regardless of how good the surgeon or how healthy the patient is, exposes the patient to the risk of infection or complications. But there have been studies and patient safety and strategies that have been developed to minimize malpractice risk in surgery. Surgeons who do not follow these best practices can put their patients in harm’s way. But an experienced attorney anticipates these challenges and will exhaust all of their resources building the strongest legal case for you. The first step is to hire an attorney as soon as possible. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.