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How do I prove fault in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Robert F. Spohrer

Doctors are not perfect. Sometimes, a patient can suffer an injury or even die when the doctor attending to them is practicing the highest standards of care. On the other hand, a health care professional can cause an illness, injury or loss of life due to reckless or negligent acts. When this happens, the victim or their loved ones may consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with an attorney.

Medical malpractice cases are complex. If you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a health care provider or hospital, there are certain elements you need to establish to prove fault. Here are some of them:

Professional duty of care owed to you

Every medical malpractice case begins by establishing the professional duty of care that the physician owed their patient. Your claim will only be successful if you can establish that the health care provider did owe you a duty of care. You can realize this by establishing that there was, indeed, a doctor/patient relationship.

Breach of duty

It is important to appreciate that not every undesirable outcome during a medical procedure is the result of negligence. Sometimes, the patient can still sustain an injury despite the doctor’s best effort. To prove breach of duty, you will be required to establish that the physician failed to exercise the standard of care that would be exhibited by a similar doctor under similar circumstances. For this, you will need expert testimony to demonstrate that the physician failed to meet the expected standard of care.

Link between the physician’s breach and your injury

When medical malpractice occurs, the physician will only be liable for injuries that can be directly linked to their breach of duty. In other words, you can only be compensated for injuries resulting from the doctor’s negligence. While proving breach of duty, you can rely on the same expert testimony to link your injuries to the doctor’s negligence.

Doctors are trained to treat patients and help them regain their health. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for these professionals to commit an error while on duty. If you sustain an injury as a result of a health care provider’s negligence, it is important that you understand what is expected of you when proving fault. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer for help today.