What Must Be Proven To Prevail In A Medical Malpractice Case?
- March 29, 2017
If you believe that you have been the victim in a medical malpractice case, there are some things that you need to know. While medical professionals, hospitals, and other types of health care facilities are there to help you and contribute to your overall well being, accidents do happen. If that error is made due to some type of negligence, it is quite possible that medical malpractice has occurred. If you believe that to be the case, it is time to prove it in front of the eyes of the judicial system. Consider the following four things that must be proven in order to prevail in a medical malpractice case.
There Must be Duty Involved
The first step to proving a claim of medical malpractice is to show that there was duty involved. This means that the doctor, nurse, or facility involved must have been actually asked to care for the patient and was placed in charge of his or her well being. One example of duty is the doctor and patient relationship that is established as soon as a patient in seen in a healthcare facility. In other words, there needs to be someone or some facility that was directly responsible for the care of the patient in order to medical malpractice to have occurred.
You Need to Show a Breach of Duty
Once duty has been established, the next step is to show that there was actually a breach of that duty. This entails showing that the responsible party did something that goes against normal accepted practices. When proving breach of duty, a lawyer will set out to demonstrate that the healthcare practitioner failed in some way to exercise the medical skill necessary to care for the patient. That medical skill will be that which is determined to have been expected to be performed by another professional with a similar set of skills and background. In other words, a doctor who’s patient died on the examination table because due to a reason outside the control of the physician is not malpractice. If the patient died because of something the doctor did or did not do, however, a breach of duty may be able to be proven.
Some Type of Damage Must Have Occurred
Assuming that duty and breach of duty are shown to have occurred, damage must also be proved in order to win a medical malpractice case. This entails the patient having suffered some type of emotional or physically noticeable injury directly as a result of being in the care of the healthcare professional or facility involved in the suit. This injury can be either a new injury or it can be a furtherance of an injury that was already present. The key is to show that the damage occurred because of a breach of duty on the part of the individual or facility that is targeted by the lawsuit itself.
You Need to Prove the Cause of the Damage
Finally, one must be able to show the exact of the cause the damage and prove that it was caused because of a breach of duty. An example would be an injury that occurs in a patient because a surgical instrument is left in the body after surgery. Breach of duty is shown because the physician should be reasonably expected to have removed all surgical instruments before the surgery was complete. If damage occurs, such as a punctured organ a few days after the surgery, that cause of the damage can be traced directly back to the healthcare practitioners responsible for the patient during the surgery.
In order for a medical malpractice suit to ultimately be successful, a lawyer will want to show that all four of these areas are accounted for. If you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. We will gladly go over your case with you and discuss the best course of legal action for you moving forward. You do have legal rights and we will fight hard on your behalf to protect those.