Medical negligence is a common term thrown around quite often, but what constitutes medical negligence? Medical negligence refers to a hospital’s carelessness in treating its patients. A negligent caretaker of a patient’s health does not provide ordinary and reasonable care that would consider responsible in similar cases.
To establish that medical negligence has occurred, a plaintiff must prove that a breach of the standard of care directly caused an injury to the patient.
There are several ways to prove medical negligence, and each state is unique in its procedures. Below are three common ways of proving medical negligence at the trial level:
1. Duty of Care
Duty of care implies that the caregiver owes the patient certain merit of care, which they must uphold throughout treatment. The caregiver must take reasonable measures to prevent patient injury, determined by the caregiver’s expertise in their field.
To prove that a doctor is negligent, a plaintiff must establish what a reasonably prudent health care provider would do in treating their patient.
The expert for the defence and plaintiff will testify as to what would be an appropriate, proper, and reasonable treatment for the patient’s condition. Legally, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the hospital was negligent in its care. The standard of medical treatment has to judge in the context of the practice of the defendant, the knowledge and abilities of the defendant, and the patient’s treatment history.
The plaintiff will have to prove that the hospital staff failed to exercise a degree of care that would consider reasonable. The hospital should be familiar with their patient’s condition (i.e., records). A medical practice requires a great degree of caution, and it is easy to cause an error even in the absence of negligence.
Causation implies omission, which means that the failure to provide care resulted in the injury. Causation is the crux of medical negligence because it is not sufficient to show that someone failed to provide adequate care but also must show that their failure caused the injury. The plaintiff must prove that the hospital and its staff are at fault, and they must show that the injury was not pre-existing.
If the defendant attempted to explain the risks that might have occurred to the plaintiff due to the treatment process, then the court won’t consider the resulting damages. However, claims resulting from negligence without prior disclosure of the risks will sustain by the court. The hospital can also consider negligent if it fails to provide proper and adequate training to the doctors. In such cases, the hospital will likely have no defence, and all resulting damages will consider.
Another way to prove medical negligence is through damages, and the plaintiff must show that their injuries result from the breach of the standard of care. Damages can be both economic and non-economic and include but are not limited to:
Compensation for each impairment (e.g., a decrease in income, impairment of daily activities, etc.). Pain, and suffering (including mental and emotional distress). Expenses incurred for medical care, including medical supplies and equipment. Any other expenses that relate to the injury (e.g., transportation to doctor visits).
Damage amounts are typically determined through expert testimony. Expert testimonies help the court determine which party should receive what damages.
Furthermore, damage amounts determine through the degree of injuries sustained by the plaintiff and whether the defendant’s negligence caused them. If evidence reveals with absolute certainty that the defendant is liable, the plaintiff tends to award more damages than if their liability was not established with absolute certainty.
Claim your Compensation
Medical negligence cases differ from one instance to another. That is why it is necessary that a person who has suffered an injury file a medical negligence case and claim your compensation. The injured person should consult an experienced lawyer for all cases. The attorney will advise them on strengthening the case and getting the compensation they deserve.
Litigation on this matter can be a long and complicated process, so it is important to move forward immediately. The longer the injured party waits, the lower the chances of compensation. Expedited work with an experienced lawyer will benefit the injured party and their case in a court of law. The attorney will assist in planning a strong litigation strategy, which helps to assure success at the trial.