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How to prove fault in a medical malpractice case

Staten Island doctors are expected to adhere to a certain standard while treating patients. If they fail to meet this standard of care and cause injury to a patient, the patient may allege negligence and seek damages under medical malpractice law.

The hardest thing about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is proving that someone was at fault. Successful cases are built on the fact that a medical professional was negligent in his treatment of the patient. To show medical negligence, you must prove that there was a duty owed to the patient by the medical professional. Typically, this is a given if there was a doctor/patient relationship. You must also show that the professional deviated from the applicable standard of care. Lastly, you must show that the patient was injured and that there was a connection between the professional's deviation from the standard and the injury.

Proving that the medical professional did not adhere to the standard can be challenging. You will have to present expert testimony from another medical expert in the same field of medicine. This testimony will discuss what the standard actually is and what a competent doctor would do in those specific circumstances. The testimony will also help show why the defendant failed to meet the standard.

Another way to show fault is to prove that the medical professional is liable for the negligent prescription of a medication or medical device. Incorrect dosage or failure to adhere to the manufacturer's instructions could be considered negligent. The failure to obtain informed consent before treatment is another form of medical negligence.

Establishing that a medical professional has acted negligently can be difficult, but with the right witness testimony and evidence, you will have a chance to prove fault and recover damages for your suffering.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases," accessed on Nov. 10, 2015

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
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Phone: 347-286-1937
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