What Do You Need to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you or a loved one have been injured due to medical malpractice, you may be wondering what you need to prove in order to file a successful lawsuit against the negligent medical professional or hospital.
Often, people who get hurt by medical malpractice do not understand the key elements that must be proven to obtain compensation through a lawsuit. Our Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez can help you gather all available evidence to build a strong case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Four Elements to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case
Let’s discuss the four key elements that must be proven in order for the plaintiff (the injured party) to win a medical malpractice case.
- Standard of care. The first thing that needs to be established is the standard of care that was expected from the defendant (the medical professional or hospital). This includes determining what kind of care would have been considered acceptable considering all relevant facts and circumstances. The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s conduct fell below this standard of care. This can be done by providing expert testimony from other healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about the particular situation and can provide insights into what should have been done differently (Florida Statutes § 766.102).
- Breach of duty. Once it has been established that there was a breach of standard care, the plaintiff must then prove that this breach caused harm or injury. To do this, they must show that there was a direct connection between the breach of duty and their injury or illness. This can be difficult to prove because there are often other factors involved, and it is not always clear whether those factors were related to the defendant’s negligence or not. The best way to establish this connection is through expert testimony from healthcare professionals who can explain how certain actions led to certain outcomes.
- Negligence. Once it has been established that there was a breach of duty and an injury occurred, the next step is proving negligence on behalf of the defendant. Negligence means that they acted with either an intention to cause harm or without exercising reasonable care and caution when performing their duties as expected by law. It is important for plaintiffs to keep in mind that even if they are able to prove negligence, they must still demonstrate causation—that is, they must show how their injury was directly caused by someone else’s negligence before any damages can be awarded.
- Damages. Finally, if all three elements above have been proven, then plaintiffs may seek damages for their injuries or losses suffered due to medical malpractice. Damages may include payment for medical bills, lost wages due to missed work days, pain and suffering endured as a result of injuries sustained during treatment, and any other related expenses incurred due to negligence on behalf of the defendant. It is vital for plaintiffs seeking damages after filing a medical malpractice suit to understand what types of damages are available under applicable laws so they can maximize their potential recovery amount based on their specific circumstances.
As you can see from these four elements, filing a successful lawsuit against someone for medical malpractice requires more than just “proving” your case—it also requires understanding your legal rights and obligations according to applicable laws when seeking damages after incurring an unexpected injury due to negligent behavior on the part of another individual or organization while providing healthcare services.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Leifer & Ramirez
If you believe you are entitled to compensation under these circumstances, consult with an experienced lawyer immediately in order to ensure your rights are protected throughout this process. Our medical malpractice lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez can help you determine if you have a valid claim and explain what you need to do to get justice. Call 561-660-9421 for a free consultation.
We serve clients throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.