The Law Offices of Sanford F. Young, P.C.

Getting results since 1978

How do you prove medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

If unhappy patients could sue doctors and hospitals every time they did not get the outcome they wanted, the medical profession would soon struggle to recruit people. Hence, there are strict requirements for anyone wishing to file a claim against the person or institution that treated them.

Sometimes, patients have a good reason to be unhappy. Doctors and hospitals can be negligent. Here are the four things you will need to show to bring a medical malpractice claim:

You suffered serious harm

If the surgeon nicks your finger with their scalpel and leaves you with a cut that makes sliding your wedding ring on and off uncomfortable for a few weeks, there is little point in trying to claim. A court is unlikely to consider it serious enough. If the surgeon cuts your finger off entirely, you may have a case.

The harm was a direct result of the defendant’s actions

Let’s use the example of the finger. If the surgeon cuts it off, it’s unlikely to be too difficult to show the link between their actions and your suffering. If you are trying to blame them because you slammed your finger in your car door when leaving the hospital, you are unlikely to succeed.

The defendant had a duty of care toward you

Provided you were a patient of the person or institution you are claiming against, the duty of care should not be too hard to prove. However, it can get complicated when multiple people or institutions were involved. You need to claim against the appropriate one(s).

They breached that duty of care

What mistake did the doctor make? A court is unlikely to rule in your favor if the doctor did the same as most other doctors would have done in the circumstances. They want to see that the doctor deviated from expected behaviors or actions.

Proving those four points can be challenging, so it’s best to take legal guidance if you believe you have a malpractice claim.