Medical Malpractice and the Patients’ Burden of Proof

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

While patients and doctors have the best wishes that one’s treatment is successful, such is not always what happens.  Quite frequently, a medical professional committed negligence and the patient ends up suffering.  You should also know that even if the treatment was a “success”, the medical professionals from whom you have received treatment may still have committed medical malpractice. 

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to medical malpractice and you choose to sue, it is important to understand what exactly it is that must be proved.  Note right away, that the patient has the burden of proving all of the allegations; that is, the patient must prove that the doctor caused him/her injury.

There are four basic things that must be proved in order to win a medical malpractice lawsuit.  While they are common to all medical malpractice lawsuits, it isn’t easy to successfully prove each of the required elements.  This is why you should always consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney so that your chances of recovery are maximized.

First you must prove that there was a relationship between you and your doctor under which arose a duty of care.  Medical professionals are under a duty to not cause harm to their patients.  “Harm” is judged by the standard of care that a doctor must provide to the patient.  The doctor is required to follow the required standard as dictated by his/her specialty.  Additionally, each community may have a different standard, and the doctor is required to adhere to the standards set forth by the community in which he/she practices. 

Second, it must be proved that the doctor did not prove you with the care required by the medical community.  Attorneys frequently refer to this by saying that the doctor breached his/her duty of care.  Note that expert testimony is needed in order to prove what the standard of care is and that the standard was breached. 

Third, there must be proof that the doctor being sued caused the harm.  This is referred to as, “causation”.  It is easy to say that a doctor caused the patient harm, but it is harder to prove.  Of course, it is not impossible to prove, but causation issues are contentious and there even exists multiple types of causation. 

Fourth, and lastly, there must be a showing of damages.  That is, you must prove that you have suffered real, actual harm.  This harm comes in many forms, such as, pain, suffering, medical bills, lost wages, lost income potential, loss of companionship, and so on.

If the suit is successful, your compensation comes in the form of a monetary award.  The award may serve two functions, to compensate you for any loss related to the malpractice, and possibly to punish the medical professional for gross misconduct.

If you or a loved one has received negligent treatment from a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation.  It is important that you contact an experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney in order to receive that help that you deserve.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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