Some Medical Malpractice cases are easy to prove, perhaps because sustained injury, illness, or even death are immediately provable and recognizable as resulting from negligence. Other cases are not so simple, with complex details, timelines, and more that make the burden of proof on the prosecuting side daunting. Here are the main factors that make a Medical Malpractice difficult to prove.
1. First: Defining the Burden of Proof
The Burden of Proof refers to the weight of the evidence or facts necessary for a plaintiff/patient//victim to be awarded a winning judgment legally. Different types of legal cases vary in how intense Burden of Proof is. When it comes to Medical Malpractice cases, there are four pillars of information that need to be proven. If they aren’t, the case loses significant ground and potential for the plaintiff’s side to win.
2. Doctor-Patient Relationship
Duty of care and standard of care, the latter of which will be described below, are similar but slightly different. Through the relationship between the physician and the patient, there is a duty of care which means that the patient was owed a professional duty by the physician, and in order to set the foundation for the case, the plaintiff and/or their attorney are required to prove that the physician or health care provider was in charge of their care at the time of the alleged malpractice incident. Essentially it is a confirmation that they were the individual (or team) involved.
3. Standard of Care
4. Breach of Duty
A link must be established and proven between the defendant, or physician’s deviation from the standard of care and the harm that came to the plaintiff/patient. This can oftentimes be the most difficult part of the case to prove, since demonstrating with medical certainty that the harm resulted directly from the defendant’s actions can sometimes be murky and difficult.
The plaintiff has to prove that they have acquired specific, quantifiable, and compensable damages as a result of medical malpractice. This includes the establishment of increased economic/financial burdens on the plaintiff and their family, as well as non-economic aspects of suffering. These include illness, injury, pain, suffering, medical debt, lost wages, lost employment, and wrongful death.
6. Hiring the Wrong Legal Representation
Hiring the wrong lawyer to prosecute your medical malpractice case is a sure fire way of losing and experiencing more suffering. While hiring a medical malpractice lawyer can be a financial investment, it is critical that you have the right person on your side, since the litigation of a medical malpractice case has specific procedures and expectations that they can guide you through.