Determining Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case
If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be wondering what evidence you need to determine liability. Most legal claims for medical malpractice come down to establishing that your health care professional was negligent in providing medical care or treatment to you, and that you suffered an injury as a result. In this blog, you can take a look at what you may need to prove in a successful medical malpractice case.
Existence of Doctor-Patient Relationship
First, you need to show the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, which establishes a doctor’s duty to provide you with competent care. In general, this is not a difficult element to prove in a medical malpractice case. If your doctor agreed to provide diagnosis or treatment to you, then the doctor-patient relationship exists.
Proof of the Doctor’s Negligent Care
Next, you need to show that your doctor did not act with the skill and care that a similarly trained health care professional would have under the circumstances. In establishing the medical standard of care, it may be necessary for expert witnesses to testify about what a competent doctor would have done in the same situation. The expert witness must apply the medical standard of care to your case and show how your doctor failed to provide adequate care, through detailed testimony.
Link Between Doctor’s Negligence and Your Injury
You must also show that the doctor’s actions caused your health condition to become worse, or resulted in you suffering an additional injury. Expert testimony helps to establish this element.
Proof of Patient’s Harm
Finally, you must provide details of the actual harm you suffered. In a medical malpractice case, damages might include the cost of additional medical treatment, and lost income due to the inability to work.
Proof By a Preponderance of the Evidence
A patient who has been injured by medical malpractice must show the elements listed above “by a preponderance of the evidence,” which means that they are each more likely true than false.
As a medical malpractice claimant, you have some unique legal hurdles to get over, including getting the case past a malpractice review board and filing a certificate of merit in some cases. If you have been injured as the result of a health care professional’s negligence, please contact our Orange County medical malpractice lawyers at the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg.
Call (949) 565-4281 or contact us online today for a free consultation.