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How do I prove fault in my medical malpractice lawsuit?

Anytime we go under the knife, there is a chance that something could go wrong. When a doctor or hospital acts negligently, that chance increases by a great deal. If a physician's surgical error has caused you an illness or injury you would not have had otherwise, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against those responsible for your care.

However, proving medical malpractice in Maryland is not always easy. Many patients have lost cases because they could not adequately establish that the physician made a mistake and that their mistake caused the patient harm. A qualified medical malpractice attorney can assist you with your claim and give you the best chance possible at recovering damages.

In order to file a successful medical malpractice claim, you will need to establish that a doctor/patient relationship existed between you and your doctor and that your doctor violated the duty owed to you by deviating from the applicable standard of care. You will also need to show that you were injured and that the doctor's breach of duty caused your injury.

Proving these elements will often require in-depth medical records detailing your health history, history of medical treatments and prescriptions. You may also benefit from testimony from those who witnessed the procedure, and testimony from medical experts. Medical experts can discuss the applicable standard of care and whether a reasonable, competent physician in similar circumstances would have acted the same way as your physician did. They can also discuss whether the physician's actions caused your injuries or whether your injuries would have occurred even if the physician had not been negligent.

Many patients who are unsure what actually caused their injury benefit under the doctrine of "res ipsa," as it makes it much easier to establish causation. The doctrine basically states that if you have the type of injury that would not have occurred without the doctor's negligence, it is unnecessary to establish exactly what caused your injury. Once you use res ipsa, the doctor and other defendants in your case will have to prove that they were not negligent when treating you.

Proving medical negligence of any kind can be difficult, but it is possible with the right documentation and testimony, and the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases," accessed on Dec. 19, 2017

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