How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to a patient being harmed by a doctor, or other medical professional, because the professional failed to competently perform his or her duties. This is a particularly disturbing source of injury, as we entrust medical professionals with our health and safety. Unfortunately, medical malpractice does occur all too frequently, for a wide variety of reasons. In many cases, victims can file a claim and recover damages for their injuries. In order to file a claim, one must prove medical malpractice by showing all of the following:

Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed

First, one must show the basics — that a relationship actually existed between the victim of medical malpractice and the doctor. In other words, you agreed to hire the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. This is typically very easy to prove, using any contracts or official documents between the two parties. The only time this becomes a trickier situation is when a consulting physician did not treat the patient directly.

The Doctor Was Negligent

It must be proven that the doctor’s negligence directly lead to the injuries sustained. Naturally, most cases will involve the patient being already sick or injured, thus complicating the matter. It becomes a question of whether the doctor’s actions lead to the injury, or it stemmed from the problem that was being treated in the first place. For example, if the patient dies after receiving treatment for lung cancer, it may be attributed to the cancer and not the treatment. Thus, the patient must show that it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s negligence lead to the injury.

Injury Lead To Specific Damages

It is necessary for the victim to prove that he or she sustained injuries. Although it may sound odd, if the doctor was negligent but it did not cause any direct damages, then the doctor is not liable for any claims. Since the patient did not suffer any harm, they cannot sue the doctor for malpractice. The following are examples of harm that the patient can sue for:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Additional medical bills
  • Lost work
  • Lost earning capacity

If the patient sustained any of the above as a result of the doctor’s negligence, he or she may sue for medical malpractice.

Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. In order to best proceed with your case, and receive the fairest compensation, it is important you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.