The basis for most medical malpractice claims involves four elements: duty, breach, injury, and damages. To qualify as medical malpractice, the following details must be true:
- The doctor or healthcare provider had a duty to uphold the standard of care for their patient;
- The doctor or healthcare provider breached the standard of care;
- The patient suffered an injury as the result of the provider’s breach;
- The patient incurred economic or non-economic damages from their injury.
If you believe you were a victim of medical negligence, you need a medical malpractice lawyer who will put together a strong, evidence-backed case showing that your claim meets these criteria. The attorneys at Medical Malpractice Help can build a case on your behalf. For a free consultation, call us at 800-916-7333 today.
How Do I Prove My Doctor Had a Duty of Care?
The first criterion for a successful medical malpractice case is the establishment of a duty of care. You must demonstrate that the doctor or medical provider had a responsibility, whether stated explicitly or implied, to provide you with a certain level of care.
The existence of a doctor-patient relationship establishes this duty of care. The same duty also exists for healthcare providers working on behalf of a doctor, such as nurses, physicians’ assistants, CNAs.
To prove the provider had a duty of care, we must produce evidence of a doctor-patient relationship. This evidence can come in the form of doctor bills, prescriptions, lab reports, or even a verbal agreement to provide care.
How Can I Show My Doctor Breached Their Duty of Care?
Once we have established the existence of a duty of care, we must show that the provider breached their duty. We do this by demonstrating that the doctor or provider’s actions failed to meet the “reasonable person standard.”
This standard considers whether a reasonable person with the same education and training as your doctor would have acted differently in the same situation. If a reasonable person would have behaved differently, then your doctor violated the standard of care and breached their duty to you.
Using an Expert Witness to Prove a Breach of Duty
An effective way to show a breach of duty is to bring in an expert witness from the medical field. Ideally, we would obtain testimony from someone with the same specialty as your doctor. In many states, this expert testimony is required for medical malpractice cases.
Suppose, for instance, that you had an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. You allege that your doctor did not make enough of an effort to learn about your allergies. The expert witness—a doctor with 20 years of experience in the same role as your physician—testifies that a reasonable person would have asked more questions about patient allergies before prescribing treatment. This constitutes strong evidence of a breach of duty.
How Will an Attorney Prove My Injuries?
Next, we must show that you suffered injuries. We also have to establish a cause-and-effect link between your doctor’s negligent actions and your injury.
To prove that this link exists, we gather evidence like:
- Medical records;
- Photo and video evidence;
- Lab test results;
- The defendant’s own statements;
- Expert witness testimony; and
- Statements from other witnesses.
How Can I Show I Suffered Damages Because of Medical Malpractice?
The final step to establishing a successful medical malpractice case is to show that your injuries resulted in actual damages. These damages can be economic, non-economic, or both. The important thing is that we show you suffered financial losses as a result of your injuries.
Economic damages are those we can quantify in dollar terms. Examples include:
- Medical bills, including current and anticipated future costs;
- Lost wages, or the value of your forfeited paychecks if you had to miss work; and
- Reduced earning capacity, which is the value of lost future income if your injuries force you to take a lower-paying position or work fewer hours.
Non-economic damages are losses that do not have a dollar value. These include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of consortium;
- Anxiety and depression;
- Scarring; and
How Can I Schedule an Appointment With a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
If you suffered injuries because of a doctor or healthcare provider’s negligent actions, you deserve compensation for your losses. The Newsome | Melton team can help you pursue the responsible party for the money you deserve.
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