How to Prove a Medical Malpractice?

Patients place the fate of their lives in the hands of physicians. They trust their physicians with everything; starting from their diagnosis to treatment all the way to surgical procedures. On the other hand, physicians need to uphold this level of trust in their practice. They go through immense training that shapes them into becoming top-notch care providers; they become the healers of the whole community. It’s expected of them to never make any mistakes on their job, as a single mistake can be fatal.

While most physicians abide by this code, there are always exceptions to every rule. Sometimes, patients find themselves hurt at the hand of their trusted physician more than their initial illness. In such cases, their only course of action can be to file a medical malpractice claim against their negligent physician. However, this process can be very difficult.

Filing a medical malpractice claim

Medical malpractice claims are some of the most difficult cases in the field of personal injury. The medical malpractice specialized lawyers at Stewart Law Offices explain the reasons behind this fact, where many people choose to file claims even if they have no solid case. But being disappointed by the physician’s outcomes doesn’t necessarily mean they were negligent. But even if you do have a solid case, proving medical malpractice can be very difficult.

In order to prove medical malpractice, you need to prove the following points:

  • Proof of physician-patient relationship

You need to provide proof that you had a patient-doctor relationship with your physician. Falling ill after overhearing advice from a doctor at a gathering or a party won’t build you any solid case. The proof should include that you hired the doctor for consult or an appointment, and they agreed to be hired by you. You can prove that by presenting any receipts, prescriptions, or official documents linking you to the doctor.

  • Proof of physician’s negligence
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Proving a physician’s negligence can be tricky; after all, most of the patients don’t have sufficient medical knowledge to provide this kind of proof. You’ll need to seek help from other medical experts or lawyers to help you find this proof, and they’ll do so by comparing your physician’s actions to the standard level of care that physicians are required to provide.

  • Proof of injury due to negligence

The next step is to link the physician’s negligence to the injury you’ve suffered. Merely presenting an injury and proof of negligence won’t be enough; you should prove that their negligent actions were the reason you got injured.

  • Proof of damages due to injury

Even after linking a physician’s negligence to your injuries your case won’t be viable in court. You need to present further proof that your injury, that resulted from the physician’s negligence, have caused you damage in certain ways. To do that, you should seek a medical opinion from another physician directly after being injured.

Moving through the claim process

After assembling the necessary evidence of medical malpractice, you’ll be able to pursue your claim of medical malpractice. However, there are additional special requirements in the claim process.

These requirements are:

  • The special medical malpractice review panel

Before getting your case to court, your case will most likely be presented to the special medical malpractice review panel first. While this panel can neither act in place of a lawsuit nor award damages, the court often relies heavily on their recommendation to either pursue or deny your claim.

  • Expert witnesses
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Getting an expert witness of high qualification and solid reputability is also required in order to testify for the extent of your injuries and damages. They may even be required to testify in front of the review panel before the case proceeds to court. This can be a bit difficult to accomplish, as most physicians won’t agree to testify against one of their kinds.

  • The Res Ipsa Doctrine

There’s a common approach you can take in making your case, and it’s the Res Ipsa doctrine. Res Ipsa means “the thing speaks for itself”. In this approach, you state your case and show your imperative evidence, and shift the role of defense onto the physician. Instead of trying to prove they caused your injuries, you present your evidence and they have to prove that they weren’t responsible.

Proving a medical malpractice claim can be quite difficult. There’s a long list of evidence that you need to provide, starting with your relationship with the physician to proving their negligence, your injuries, and the damages you’ve suffered. Afterward, you’ll go through a hearing with a specialized medical malpractice review panel to make their decision about the validity of the claim. With the help of expert witnesses and the Res Ipsa doctrine, your chances of winning the case can be significantly improved.

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