What Do I Need to Prove My Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice can have some of the most severe consequences out of any type of personal injury. However, it can be the most difficult to prove as well. You need to be prepared for a long fight, as doctors and insurance companies aren’t quick to part with their money. Here are a few items you need to be prepared to prove:
- A doctor-patient relationship: If a doctor treated you directly, or if they provided a diagnosis, you have a doctor-patient relationship. This is the easiest part of the case to prove.
- Proof of negligence: This one can be a bit trickier to prove. Would a reasonably competent doctor have treated you in the same way? This step involves expert witnesses testifying before the court to explain how they would have provided treatment. The accused doctor will also provide their own expert witnesses.
- Negligence led to injury: Even if you can prove the doctor acted negligently, you have to prove their mistakes caused your injuries. If you have underlying medical conditions, you must be able to prove said condition didn’t cause your health to get worse or your injuries to happen.
- What the injury cost: Medical errors can lead to further treatment, loss of income and other financial costs. These costs must be tallied and presented as evidence. In addition, non-economic costs, like pain and suffering or loss of companionship, will also play a role.
Note that these elements don’t have to be proven beyond a doubt. Rather, they must each be shown to be true more likely than not. This is called proof “by a preponderance of the evidence.”