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Proving negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit

by | Aug 3, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice committed by a doctor may not be easy for a patient to prove if the patient suffered an avoidable injury because their medical provider didn’t offer a high level of care.

“Medical malpractice” means that a medical or dental professional may have failed to offer a high standard of care. The patient may have realized that something was wrong after they underwent a medical or dental procedure. If they were prescribed a medication, their reaction to that medication may have led to emergency medical care.

When a medical or dental provider carries out a treatment or prescribes a new medication, the patient may anticipate feeling better. Instead, they may begin to feel worse, have more pain or become seriously ill, which may require going to the emergency room.

The emergency room staff may realize that their patient was not informed fully about the effects of the treatment or medication. When they explain this to the patient or their family, the patient may decide to sue their doctor or dentist for medical malpractice.

What is neglect in medical malpractice?

The plaintiff may hold the burden of proof in accusing their medical or dental provider of negligence in providing care. This means:

  • Medical provider neglected to fulfill their duty in caring for the plaintiff
  • Failed to meet the correct standard of care
  • A “cause and effect” connection existed between the expected standard of care and the provider’s failure to offer that care

The plaintiff and their lawyer may have to get another medical expert who is qualified in the same branch of medicine as the defendant to testify about the neglect. That expert should testify about the expected level of care the plaintiff should have received.

Duty to inform the patient

The medical provider may have had the duty to inform their patient about expected side effects of a new medication or treatment provided. The doctor is a “learned intermediary,” meaning they may have had the information about the medication or treatment.

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