Back to the Basics – Proving Medical Malpractice

When Californians go to the doctor, we place our trust in that medical professional. We believe that the medical professional is highly skilled and capable of performing services in a way that will help us live healthier, happier lives. We don’t expect that a medical professional will cause serious injury that may compound the reason that brought us to them in the first place. Malpractice can cause extreme difficulty in your life or in the life of a loved one. Medical malpractice can cause financial hardship from subsequent medical bills and procedures. It can also take its toll on our mental and emotional well-being. It is a serious issue facing local residents, and an attorney experienced with personal injury as a result of medical malpractice can help you evaluate your claim. ecoli

How do you prove medical malpractice?

While each individual case is distinctly different, there are some general elements that must be proven in a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice can be thought of as medical negligence, and there are common negligence elements that must always be proven in most circumstances. If you think you may have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should consider the following general requirements:

  1.     Did the medical professional owe you a duty of care;
  2.     Did the medical professional breach that duty of care;
  3.     Did the medical professional’s breach of that duty cause you harm; and
  4.     Have you suffered damages caused by that breach?

To more completely understand these elements, we can use an example where a person checks into the hospital for routine surgical procedure. Everything seems to go well during and immediately following the surgery. Subsequent evaluation even shows the patient recovering well from the surgery. However, within a week, the patient has begun developing severe pain in several areas of their abdomen. On the second night of this newly developing pain, the patient returns to the hospital via the emergency room and it is discovered that several sponges had been left inside the incision area that were causing this new severe pain, as well as an initial infection. Emergency surgery is required to remove these foreign objects that had been left behind.

In this scenario, the original surgeon owed the patient a duty of care that may have included removal of each sponge used during the routine surgery. In not adequately accounting for the removal of these sponges at the end of the surgery, the original surgeon breached their duty of care owed to the patient. This breach of the duty of care caused the patient severe physical pain and required another unscheduled surgery that may have increased medical bills and recovery time. The increased medical bills, missed wages from work during increased recovery time, and possibly the anguish of the experience may qualify as damages that can be recoverable from the original surgeon in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Have you been injured as the result of medical malpractice?

If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, Brod Law Firm may be able to help you recover as a result of this negligence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where we can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your claim and discuss possible options available to you. Our experience working with personal injury clients has helped residents that have been the victim of negligence ensure that their rights are fully protected, and to ensure that they are not financially responsible for the negligent acts of others, especially professionals in whom they have placed their trust.