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Medical malpractice: How do you prove your case?

Doctors and medical professionals are human. If they have one flaw, it is the fact that they make mistakes -- just like anyone else. In general, people like to think that medical professionals are these flawless experts who can perform amazing feats of medical engineering. And for the most part, they do. But they also botch procedures and commit errors while treating patients too. When this happens, the lives of the affected patients change forever, and they are likely entitled to compensation.

When an affected patient files a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or medical institution, the story behind their case may seem like it should carry the day. The sad circumstances or the tragic result of the medical procedure should show a civil court that the affected patient deserves compensation, right?

Well, that's not how a court of law works. As sad as the story behind the civil case may be, you need to prove your medical malpractice case in order for it to be successful. There are four steps to this process:

  • You have to prove that the medical institution or professional owed you a duty
  • You have to establish the standard of care for your case, and then show how the medical professional or institution deviated from that standard
  • Then, that deviation must be connected to the injury or harm you suffered
  • Last but not least, you have to show and verify the harm that you suffered as a result of the botched medical care you received

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases," Accessed Dec. 7, 2015

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