How do you prove malpractice?

Medical malpractice lawsuits happen very frequently in the United States. If you feel that a medical professional is responsible for your injury in any way, you may be contemplating the idea of suing for malpractice yourself. However, before you proceed, you must know that there are certain elements that must be present before your malpractice case can move forward.

What must be present to prove malpractice?

There must be a relationship between you and the doctor

This is not difficult to prove since by seeing this medical professional it is understood that they have agreed to provide a diagnosis or a treatment to you.

You received inferior or negligent care from this doctor

Did the doctor treat you in such a way as you would have been treated by another healthcare professional under similar circumstances? Did you receive the expected standard of care? To prove this point it might be necessary to bring in experts to testify as to what another doctor with the same skills and training would have done in the same situation. Published clinical practice guidelines may also be used as evidence of the care that you should have received.

There is a link between your injury and this doctor’s negligence

After showing that your doctor made a mistake when providing your care, you must then prove that these negligent actions resulted in injuries or additional suffering for you. You must be sure to make it very clear that these injuries or suffering did not happen because of the condition that you have or because of other actions that you might have taken.

You must provide proof of damages

In this case, you can include the cost of any additional treatment you might have needed, the wages you might have lost because you have been able to go back to work, as well as your pain and suffering. Everything that you have had to endure because of this negligence.

You must provide “preponderance of evidence”

This means that all the above elements must be proven to be more likely than not to be true. It is the equivalent of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases.

Are there any steps you can take to avoid being a victim of medical malpractice?

Definitely. And you can start by learning how to become your own healthcare advocate. Start by being well informed on your condition, and if you have any doubts as to the treatment, medications or outcome, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you are not satisfied with the responses, it’s also fine for you to go and look for a second opinion.

Keep in mind that the amount of time a doctor spends with you has shortened, make sure you know what questions to ask and get the answers you seek.

You can also become proficient in how your insurance policy works and what it covers or doesn’t. And it doesn’t hurt to keep all your medical records and check all your medical bills to make sure they do not contain any mistakes.

If you think you have a medical malpractice case you would like to pursue, Timothy J. Ryan & Associates will give you an initial free consultation in which you can present your case to them and decide what is the best course of action for you.