What are the things that you have to prove if you have filed a malpractice lawsuit?
In a medical malpractice lawsuit the plaintiff must prove the followings:
Breach of the standard of care:
You must prove that the doctor made a mistake — a mistake that a reasonable and prudent doctor would not have made under the same circumstances. Generally, this requires an expert witness (another doctor) to come forward and testify that your doctor did make a mistake. As you can imagine, this is not an easy process, since doctors do not like to testify against each other. Finding good expert witnesses is the critical part of most medical malpractice cases.
In addition to showing the doctor made a mistake, you have to show the doctor’s mistake caused an injury to you. To look at it another way, the reason people go to see doctors is because they are sick. Even the best medical treatment may be useless. So, you have to be able to show that IF the doctor had not made the mistake, then the patient would have gotten better, or would not have been injured as much. Again, it is critical to get an expert witness who is willing to testify to this.
Finally, you have to show what damages resulted from the doctor’s mistakes. This could be anything from death to serious injury. It may include lost wages, medical bills, agony, mental suffering, or the loss of a loved one. Often, economists and other experts are necessary to calculate and present these damages in court.