How to Prove Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case

Posted in Medical Malpractice on November 30, 2022

Medical malpractice cases can be difficult and complex cases. Perfection is not expected from doctors and other health care professionals. There is no expectation that every encounter with a doctor will have a positive outcome. However, in most circumstances, there are standards and protocols that govern the way a patient must be treated. When a doctor or health care facility fails to meet those standards, they may be held financially liable for any injury caused to their patients. To receive compensation for medical malpractice, the injured patient must prove that the doctor acted negligently, and their negligence resulted in the patient’s injury. Speak to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to see if you have a case. 

Elements of Negligence

To receive financial compensation for negligence, a victim must prove all the elements of their claim. There are four elements that must be proven to successfully make a medical malpractice claim based on negligence. The four elements are: (1) the doctor or other medical professional owed the victim a duty of care; (2) the doctor breached their duty of care; (3) the breach was the proximate cause of the victim’s injury; and (4) the victim suffered actual damages.

In medical malpractice cases, the defendant’s actions will be reviewed against what is expected of other doctors with similar skill and training, acting under the same circumstances. This is why any expert testimony given on the victim’s behalf will be sought from a medical professional who has experience in the relevant field of medicine concerning the case.

Obtaining Medical Records

Before a medical malpractice case is filed, the complete medical records of the victim must be reviewed. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers work with doctors with the knowledge and skills to review the victim’s medical records and make a determination about the standard of care received by the victim, whether the doctor breached their duty of care, and whether the breach was the proximate cause of the victim’s injury.

A victim will need to obtain their medical records, but this is easier said than done. When a victim is unable to get their medical reports from their doctor, they may need to sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release to enable their lawyer to obtain the records. If this fails, the lawyer can move to get an order from the courts, compelling the release of the records. 

A review of the victim’s medical records is a crucial step in determining that the victim has a valid claim, and there is enough evidence to sustain the claim.

When to File a Medical Malpractice Case

The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is two years. This means that a victim has two years from the date of the negligent act or from the date of the discovery of the injury to take action. A medical malpractice claim must be filed before the two years runs out, otherwise, the victim may lose their right to seek compensation for their injury.

Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Case

A medical malpractice case includes a claim for total damages. Damages are the losses that a person suffers because of their injury. Damages can be economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are tangible losses that can be ascertained by objective means such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic losses are intangible losses. Non-economic losses can include pain and suffering. Some states have caps on the amount that a medical malpractice victim can claim for both economic and non-economic damages. While economic and non-economic damages represent the actual loss the victim suffered, punitive damages punish the defendant’s when their action was outstandingly bad.

Get the Financial Award You Deserve

Hire A Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you have suffered injury because of negligent treatment you received from a doctor or health care facility, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. To hold them accountable and get the financial compensation you deserve, you must prove the elements of negligence. Working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is the best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

To find out how a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can help you, call Rosenbaum & Associates at 215-569-0200. We offer free consultations and if we represent you, you pay nothing unless we win.