One of the first questions asked when someone decides to pursue a medical
malpractice lawsuit is, “What do I need to prove?” Taking
legal action against a medical professional boils down to one crucial
principle: was your doctor negligent in his or her treatment and care?
In this blog, we will discuss the fundamental components of what must
be shown in a medical malpractice case.
Was there a doctor-patient relationship?
In the eyes of the law, establishing a doctor-patient relationship determines
the physician’s duty to give you the care you need for your condition.
A relationship between a doctor and patient is not difficult to confirm
– if a doctor agreed to treat you for a condition, a doctor-patient
relationship is present. This specific aspect of a medical malpractice
case typically goes unchallenged.
Proof of the Doctor’s Negligence
Proving that a doctor knowingly acted reckless and negligent can be difficult
to prove. The courts will compare the acts of a physician to that of a
reasonable professional. Did your doctor act in a way that a similarly-trained
professional would under the same circumstances? This ideal is referred
to as the medical “standard of care.” During a medical malpractice
case, expert witnesses will usually be asked to weigh in on what a reasonable
medical professional would’ve done in a similar situation.
The Link Between a Doctor’s Negligence and a Patient’s Injury
This element of a medical malpractice case requires you to show that the
harm you suffered is a direct result of your doctor’s actions, or
lack thereof. In these types of cases, it isn’t enough to just show
that a doctor made a mistake. The key is to prove that your harm cannot
be correlated to an underlying or pre-existing condition.
As in any personal injury claim, you have to show that you suffered damages
that can be calculated. In a medical malpractice case, damages can include
hospital bills, loss of wages and income, and pain and suffering.
At McCloskey Law Center, our St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys have
more than 50 years of combined legal experience in handling the most complex
and traumatic accident cases. Learn how our compassionate counsel can
help you by calling (800) 659-6433 today.