There is no single response to the question, “how hard is it to prove medical malpractice?” The difficulty of proving medical malpractice varies from one case to the next and may depend on:
- How egregious the medical professional’s actions (or failures) were
- The evidence available to your attorney
- Witnesses’ willingness to testify on your case’s behalf
- The strength of expert testimony in favor of your case
- Other considerations specific to your case
A personal injury attorney can review your case. They will explain whether you’re the victim of medical malpractice and how they can pursue justice for you.
What is the Legal Standard for Proving Medical Malpractice?
Negligence is the legal standard for medical malpractice. A medical professional is generally negligent when they fail to act as another reasonable medical professional would in the same circumstances.
Four element must be present in your case to prove negligence, which are:
- Establishing that the medical professional owed you (the patient) a duty of care
- Showing how the medical professional breached their duty of care by acting unreasonably
- Proving that this breach harmed you
- Listing the damages that occurred because the medical professional’s malpractice harmed you
Your lawyer will look for these elements in your case to determine if you can prove medical malpractice occurred.
How Might Your Attorney Prove Medical Malpractice?
To prove negligence—and in doing so, prove medical malpractice—your lawyer will need to show the professional in question acted unreasonably. Your attorney may prove this by:
- Presenting experts: Your attorney may hire experts in the specific field of medicine that the negligent doctor practices. Those experts may present clear testimony as to why the negligent doctor’s actions were unreasonable.
- Presenting witness accounts: Witnesses may testify that the defendant took certain actions or failed to take certain actions. In the end, those actions or failures may qualify as negligence. They also may entitle you to compensation for your losses.
- Citing your damages: Your damages may be proof that a medical professional did not do their job correctly. If you have a disability, have an injured child, or other specific types of physical or psychological injury, then they may indicate that the medical professional was negligent.
The New England Journal of Medicine notes that doctors with prior malpractice claims may be more likely to commit malpractice again. If the medical professional who committed malpractice against you has prior instances of malpractice on their record, your attorney will note this.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
There is a wide array of medical fields, and malpractice takes many forms. Some common examples that our firm sees are:
Failure to Diagnose
A medical professional must take all reasonable steps to diagnose physical and psychological ailments. If the doctor is not qualified to make a diagnosis, they should make this clear to the patient.
Failing to diagnose a condition allows the patient’s health to grow worse. Misdiagnosing a condition, or failing to issue any diagnosis at all, may qualify as negligence.
Prescribing Unnecessary Treatment
Every treatment comes with some degree of risk. Some treatments, like surgery, are especially high-risk. If a doctor advises a patient to undergo unnecessary treatment, they put the patient at unnecessary risk of harm.
If a medical professional recommended a treatment or procedure that harmed you—and we discover the treatment was not necessary—you could receive compensation for your damages.
Causing Physical Injury During Surgery
There is a risk with any surgery, but a surgeon must always avoid injuring the patient when possible. If you suffered injury or other surgery-related complications, you may be the victim of medical malpractice.
Failing to Allow the Patient to Give Informed Consent
Medical professionals must empower a patient to make their own health decisions. This means explaining the reason behind medical procedures, as well as the risks associated with those procedures. Only then can a patient give informed consent to medical care.
There are many other examples of medical malpractice. If you believe that a medical professional or institution has caused you harm, you can speak with our firm about your case.
What are Recoverable Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Recoverable damages vary from one medical malpractice case to the next and may include:
- Pain and suffering: Medical malpractice often causes physical pain and diminishes a patient’s quality of life.
- Lost income: If injuries from malpractice stopped you from working, you may lose income, benefits, and other job perks.
- Medical costs: You may receive compensation for the negligent medical care and follow-up care required because of the negligence you’ve endured.
- Wrongful death: Losing a loved one can cause grief, financial hardship, lost companionship, and many other damages.
We will evaluate your damages and seek the appropriate compensation for you or a loved one.
Call the Fitch Law Firm LLC Today for a Free Consultation About Medical Malpractice
Proving medical malpractice is possible for many victims. An attorney from our firm can manage your case and help you hold those who caused your medical injury or illness accountable.
Call the Fitch Law Firm LLC today for a free consultation. Don’t wait. We want to begin working on your case as soon as possible.