The 5 Things You Need to Prove to Win a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
When you’ve been wronged by a healthcare professional, it can be tempting to file a lawsuit. However, it is important to understand that not every instance of poor medical care rises to the level of malpractice. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you as the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit), need to prove that the healthcare professional in question caused you harm due to negligence. This can be difficult to do, as it requires demonstrating that the healthcare professional did not meet the accepted standard of care and caused you quantifiable harm that otherwise would not have existed. In this article, we’ll explore the four key elements to a winning medical malpractice case.
1. You Must Establish Duty of Care
The first thing you will need to prove is that the healthcare professional in question owed you a “duty of care.” In other words, they were required to provide you with a certain standard of care based on their professional relationship with you. In order to do this, you will need to present evidence that shows that the professional violated a standard of care as determined by the medical community at large. This can be done through expert testimony or by reviewing other cases for precedent. Duty of care is not one-size-fits-all. For example, if you saw a doctor for only a routine checkup, they would have a lower duty of care than if you were their patient with a known, complicated medical condition.
2. You Must Prove A Breach Of Duty Of Care Occurred
The next thing you will need to establish for your case is that the healthcare professional breached their duty of care by deviating from the accepted standard of care in their field. In order to do this, you will need to show that the healthcare professional’s actions (or lack thereof) were not satisfactory to meet the requirements of duty of care. Some examples of a breach of duty of care include:
- Failing to diagnose a patient’s illness
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Leaving surgical equipment inside a patient’s body
- Not providing adequate postoperative care
3. You Must Prove Harm Resulted From The Breach Of Duty Of Care
Next, you must demonstrate that the breach of duty of care resulted in actual harm to you as the patient. This can be difficult to do, as it requires showing that the healthcare professional’s actions or oversights caused you physical and/or emotional damage. In some cases, it can be difficult to prove that the healthcare professional’s negligence was the direct cause of your injury. Proving harm requires demonstrating that if it weren’t for the doctor’s negligence, you would not have been injured. For example, if you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, it may be hard to prove that your injuries were also caused by the negligent actions of the doctor who treated your injuries afterwards.
4. You Must Prove Damages As A Result Of The Breach
Next, you must prove the damages that resulted from the breach of duty of care. In order for the victim to have a strong claim for damages in most personal injury cases, the victim must have suffered mental, physical, or financial harm. In some intentional tort cases, for example an assault and battery case, you may only have to prove the misconduct of the defendant for damages to be awarded to the plaintiff.
5. You Must Quantify Your Injuries As Damages
Finally, in order to receive damages from a court in a medical malpractice case, you must be able to quantify your damages that resulted from the malpractice. Damages refers to the financial compensation that you are seeking as a result of your injuries. This means that you must provide evidence of what your injuries cost you both financially and emotionally. This can include evidence of lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s important to understand that there are certain elements that must be proven in order for your case to be successful. By working with our experienced attorneys, you can increase your chances of proving these elements and winning compensation for your injuries. No one should have to go through the hassle of a medical malpractice lawsuit alone. It’s important to have a good lawyer on your side who understands the process and can help you navigate these difficult waters. With the help of our experienced attorneys, you increase your chances of winning damages for your injuries. Contact Gay and Chacker today for a free consultation.