Why it’s hard to prove medical malpractice

Medical malpractice is a serious issue that affects thousands of lives every year and can lead to injury or even death for patients. When this happens, the victims and families of those who’ve lost their lives have the right to file lawsuits and hold negligent medical professionals accountable. 

Proving medical malpractice is difficult however, because of the challenges involved in proving negligence; particularly in some cases where overlapping symptoms are mistakenly attributed to common conditions.

Has a misdiagnosis or improper medical treatment caused you irreparable harm or damage? Do you have a medical malpractice case?

Getting the facts

Medical malpractice cases can be hard to prove for several reasons. First, the existence of a doctor-patient relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff must be established. This can be proven with medical records that demonstrate the defendant served as the plaintiff’s healthcare provider when the medical negligence occurred.

Second, the plaintiff must establish that a healthcare provider’s actions or inactions constituted negligence. Negligence in medical malpractice cases refers to a breach of the expected standard of care. This standard is often defined as the level of care that a reasonable and competent healthcare provider in the same field would have provided under similar circumstances.

In other words, the doctor, nurse or other medical professional made a mistake that another competent provider in the same role would not have made under those circumstances. Proving this is not always straightforward. Healthcare professionals are expected to exercise their judgment and make decisions based on the specific circumstances of each case. 

Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the healthcare provider’s negligence directly led to their injuries or worsened care and they suffered calculable damages as a result. To prove all of these elements a thorough examination of the facts, expert testimony and extensive legal research is often required.

Proving your case

If you believe you have a valid medical malpractice case, the next step is to seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Medical malpractice cases are highly specialized and require a deep understanding of both medical and legal principles. 

  • Evidence gathering: Start by collecting all relevant medical records, treatment plans and any other documentation related to your case. This evidence will be crucial in demonstrating the extent of your injuries and damages.
  • Consulting medical experts: To prove negligence, we will likely need the testimony of qualified medical experts. These experts can review your case and provide their professional opinion on whether the healthcare provider’s actions deviated from the expected standard of care.
  • Establishing causation: It’s not enough to show that a healthcare provider was negligent; we must also establish a direct link between their actions and your injuries or damages. Medical experts can help establish causation by demonstrating that the negligence directly led to your harm.
  • Demonstrating damages: To recover compensation in a medical malpractice case, we will show that you suffered significant damages as a result of the negligence. This may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.

Proving your medical malpractice case can be an uphill battle. While establishing negligence is difficult, the complexities of medical evidence add another layer. If the victim cannot understand their own medical records, imagine how hard it is for the jury.

If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, in San Diego, California, and beyond, Scott Harris can help you understand how to prove your medical malpractice case and seek justice for your injuries and losses. With more than 30 years of experience in medical malpractice and personal injury claims, he understands the tactics medical providers and insurance companies use to blame the victim.