How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?
When you seek medical help for your health concerns, the last thing you expect is to suffer more harm due to a healthcare provider’s negligence. This situation is unfortunately quite common, and often falls under the legal premise of medical malpractice – essentially, this is injuries or harm caused by substandard treatment from a healthcare professional.
However, identifying and proving this sort of negligence isn’t always straightforward. It requires answering detailed questions about what occurred and showing evidence that supports your allegations. Here’s what you need to know to start building your claim.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a legal term used when a healthcare professional fails to provide the standard of care expected in their profession, and this failure results in a patient’s harm or injury:
“”Medical malpractice” means doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would not do or not doing that which the reasonably prudent health care provider or health care institution would do in the same or similar circumstances.”
It is crucial to differentiate between an unintended medical error that is simply a mistake, and genuine negligence. Healthcare providers may occasionally make mistakes that don’t fall under malpractice since medicine isn’t an exact science and treatment plans come with inherent risks.
For your case to be considered medical malpractice, the following elements must be proven:
Duty of Care: Every healthcare professional has an obligation or ‘duty of care’ towards their patients. In a malpractice case, you must prove the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, where the medical professional was responsible for looking after your well-being.
Breach Of Duty: Next, it needs to be proven that your healthcare provider breached this duty by providing care that fell below standard practice expected in their profession.
To show that your healthcare provider breached their duty of care, you need evidence, which commonly includes the testimony of a medical expert within the same specialty as the defendant. This party would detail how your treatment fell below reasonable professional standards by making comparisons with what could be reasonably expected from other practitioners under comparable circumstances.
Causation: After successfully showing a breach of duty, the next step is to prove that this failure in delivering substandard care was directly responsible for your injury or harm.
Proving causation can be one of the most complicated parts of a medical malpractice claim. Typically, expert testimony is essential in this stage as well – someone who can offer an opinion based on their professional expertise that it was indeed the lack of appropriate care that caused your injuries and not some unrelated factor.
Damages: Finally, you need to provide evidence of the damages suffered. These injuries or damages may include physical ailments, lost wages from being unable to work, or even emotional distress from sustained trauma.
Strong evidence will make the difference between an allegation and a successful claim. This could include diagnoses, medical reports corroborating your claims, and witness testimony from nurses or other professionals who witnessed what occurred.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Having a Charleston medical malpractice attorney by your side can help you navigate these complexities. Their knowledge and expertise ensure that you compile all essential evidence necessary for a successful resolution to your claim.
If you need help, contact us to schedule a free consultation.