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What Makes a Medical Malpractice Case Winnable?

What Makes a Medical Malpractice Case Winnable?

What Makes for a Winnable Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Medical malpractice cases may seem relatively simple on the surface, but these types of cases are actually quite complex, and oftentimes challenging.

Medical malpractice can be a difficult standard to prove. In order for a medical professional’s conduct to be deemed malpractice, it must be shown that the treatment they provided fell below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community, and that this deviation in treatment was the proximate cause of your injuries. Additionally, many states have passed overbearing tort reform measures, making medical malpractice cases much more-difficult to pursue.

Before we continue, it’s important to understand the importance of hiring an attorney with these types of cases. Medical malpractice cases are extremely difficult to win, and you should not expect the doctor or hospital to offer you a settlement (at least until the discovery process is complete and trial appears to be imminent).

Medical malpractice cases are a class unto their own. Many personal injury attorneys choose not to handle malpractice cases simply due to their inherent complexity and uncertainty. Even attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice claims have to be very selective with the cases they take.

In order to give yourself the best chance at finding an attorney willing to take on your case, you need to understand what elements make up a good medical malpractice claim.

Establishing Negligence

Doctors go through rigorous training to obtain a license to practice. As a result, most of them are competent and carry out a procedures with confidence and skill. However, a few bad apples have been known to rush through procedures and even leave instruments in the body following surgery. It is your duty, therefore, to prove that the doctor acted in a negligent manner when compared to other doctors who would have been in the same position.

If the doctor’s actions were more nuanced in the sense that a non-expert really can’t pinpoint what failures led to your injuries, your attorney can call in a medical expert witness in that field of medicine who can testify that you did not receive a standard of care that was synonymous with what one would expect for your condition. In fact, some states (like Texas) require you to hire an expert witness before you’re even allowed to bring a lawsuit.

Your Burden of Proof

It is important to note that the doctor or medical center that you sue won’t really be required to prove anything in their defense. The burden of proof in these cases lies solely on you, the plaintiff. Your lawyer must prepare an argument that can stand up to the defense’s scrutiny, as well as meet the requirements of the court if you’re going to win.

Gather as much evidence as possible prior to meeting with an attorney. During your initial consultation, provide a rundown of the evidence you currently possess, as well as any evidence you are still eager to obtain. If you’ve been seen by another medical professional who feels as if the previous doctor may have committed malpractice, provide your attorney with that physician’s name and information. Ask your attorney what further information they need, and be up-front and honest with regard to all of their questions.

Proving Proximate Cause

You must be able to show that the doctor’s actions (or inaction) directly led to your injury, and that you suffered losses as a result (e.g., pain and suffering, additional medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning ability, and other economic/non-economic damages). Lawsuits are designed to recover what you’ve lost, and the larger your losses are, the more-valuable your case will potentially be.

Call 1-800-ATTORNEY Today!

While medical malpractice claims are notoriously difficult to bring, the good news is that the victim never has to pay an attorney out of their own pocket. Our attorneys take these cases on contingency, meaning that we only collect a fee if we actually win your case. To discuss the facts of your case with an attorney today, call us at 1-800-ATTORNEY for a free consultation.

1 Comment
  1. It’s great to know that a good attorney can call medical professionals to help your case. My nephew broke his leg last year and because of the doctor’s poor decision he might have to have it amputated. I’ll share your article with his family so that they can get what they deserve in court.

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