Categories: Medical Malpractice

What Needs to Be Proven in Court for Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice suits can be difficult to win for unprepared plaintiffs. To build a successful case, the plaintiff must prove four crucial elements to the judge: a doctor-patient relationship, the failure to meet medical standard of care, the medical consequences of the malpractice, and the financial damage caused by the malpractice. Failure to establish any one of these factors will lead to an unfavorable verdict.

Establish a Provider-Patient Relationship

The plaintiff must prove the existence of the doctor-patient relationship. The paperwork that patients complete prior to the medical procedure will often suffice, though there is leeway for emergency situations where the patient was physically or mentally incapable of consenting to care due to the nature of the medical emergency.

Demonstrate the Medical Standard of Care Was Not Met

The most difficult part of a medical malpractice suit is proving the professional gap between what a medical professional should have done and what the defendant did instead. This often requires multiple expert witnesses with medical experience to explain the procedure and what doctors with equivalent experience would have done under similar circumstances.

Show How Medical Negligence Caused the Medical Injury

The plaintiff must establish a direct link between the doctor’s actions and the medical injury that prompted the lawsuit. The plaintiff must rule out alternate causes such as pre-existing medical conditions and external factors that can inflict the same type and severity of damage.

Quantify the Damages

The plaintiff must provide a reasonable list of negative consequences – and their associated costs – that resulted from the doctor’s actions. Effects linked directly to currency – such as additional medical bills and lost wages – are simple to calculate. Abstract effects – such as “pain and suffering” – will be more difficult to quantify with a currency amount.

Achieve “Proof by a Preponderance of the Evidence”

Unlike criminal court cases – which require that charges be proven “beyond reasonable doubt” – the plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit must present a case whose evidence and testimony is more likely than not to be true. However, the legal intricacies and laws governing medical malpractice suits outweigh the lowered burden of proof, so patients seeking legal recourse should seek legal representation immediately.

Grewer Law Group is ready to represent plaintiffs in the Chicago area who seek legal assistance with medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, and workers compensation. Our firm offers free consultations for potential clients. Please feel free to contact us by filling out our online form or calling 630-401-5410.

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