The scariest thing anyone can experience is helplessness. Imagine lying on the hospital bed as you struggle with a life threatening illness. A doctor enters the room with a team of nurses enter the room without introducing themselves. They simply get to work without explaining a single procedure to you so they can move on to the next patient. This could be a set-up for a malpractice case.
Malpractice lawsuits aren’t meant to punish rude medical staff. They address the lack of empathy they felt for the patient. Whether a patient fails or recovers depends on the emotional investment they have in their patient. If a case fails on the hospital’s part, then the race is on to prove that they were liable. Here are some ways to prove malpractice in a lawsuit.
Representation by Medical Experts
A medical malpractice suit hinges on a number of details that must be proven by a preponderance of evidence. The word “preponderance” implies that each fact must be more likely than not to be true. While a lesser standard of proof, compared to other cases, it still requires a literacy in the medical field.
Qualified medical malpractice attorneys are well versed in healthcare laws and regulations. Experts may be brought in to review aspects that indicate improper procedure. These experts are often accredited surgeons with years of outstanding practice to show for it.
“The Reasonable Person”
Unfortunate accidents are separated from acts of negligence by the “Reasonable Person” character. The Reasonable Person is a non-existent player who demonstrates the proper conduct against the defendant’s improper behavior.
Examples like this are used to illustrate the duty the doctor owed to the patient. It explains how a patient was placed under the care of a physician who should’ve had the training to deal with their situation. Next, the jury must decide if that practitioner breached their duty by not exerting reasonable care.
Measuring the scope of the defendant’s actions is the most difficult aspect of a case. In some cases, a patient might experience complications after their release from medical care. Anything after that would be difficult to tie to the defendant.
Complications that crop up later need to be examined for any connections to the treatment received. In order for the case to go to court, the delayed damages must stem from risks the defendant could foresee. Otherwise, there is no case.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
“Res Ipsa Loquitur” is a Latin phrase meaning, “the thing speaks for itself.” In other words, the evidence gathered by the plaintiff gives a complete, accurate chain of events. An open and shut case.
However, the “Res Ipsa” defense is circumstantial. It can only create the inference of malpractice. A defendant could gather evidence to prove that the plaintiff’s condition would have occurred whether the incident took place or not. Criteria such as negligence, scope of duty, and the plaintiff’s own safety responsibilities are essential. If any of those elements are refuted, then the defense will be rebuffed.