How Do Attorneys Prove Negligence Occurred in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical malpractice is the failure of a health care professional to use the proper amount of care in treating a patient, resulting in patient harm. If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, you or a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney will need to prove the grounds for your lawsuit. This is typically negligence. Understanding how attorneys prove negligence in this complicated type of case can help you know what to expect from the legal process.

What Are the Four Elements of Negligence?

Negligence in medical malpractice law is a legal doctrine that means that a physician or another health care practitioner acted in a way that was careless or fell short of the medical industry’s standards of care. A doctor may be guilty of negligence in many situations, from properly diagnosing a patient to recommending the most appropriate form of treatment. Before an injured patient can recover financial compensation, he or she must prove that medical negligence occurred. Proving negligence requires evidence of four elements: 

  1. Duty. The physician must have owed the patient a professional duty of care as his or her doctor; in other words, a doctor-patient relationship must have existed.
  2. Breach. There must be proof that the practitioner in question breached or fell short of the medical duty of care in some manner.
  3. Causation. The defendant’s negligent care must have directly caused the harm being claimed
  4. Damages. The patient must have proof of losses connected to the medical negligence, such as injuries, illnesses or medical bills.

Establishing negligence in a medical malpractice case takes a preponderance of the evidence. This burden of proof means clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is more likely responsible for the victim’s injuries than not responsible. Most medical malpractice claims require the best personal Injury Lawyer in Kansas City to help injured patients prove the elements of negligence.

How Do Attorneys Determine Medical Malpractice Has Occurred?        

Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex. It can be difficult to determine whether medical malpractice has taken place, but negligence can prove to be quite clear in some instances. There are some telltale signs of negligence in the health care industry, such as patient neglect, lack of communication, violated federal laws or unsanitary premises. An attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to determine if medical malpractice has occurred. 

An investigation may involve the attorney looking into the background of the doctor or nurse who treated you, visiting the hospital for an in-person inspection, closely reviewing your medical records, and consulting with medical experts about the standards of care. Throughout the investigation, your attorney will preserve and collect evidence to help you establish negligence in your medical malpractice claim. This evidence may include eyewitness statements, expert testimony, photographs, surveillance footage and your medical records.


What Are Common Types of Medical Malpractice?

Although medical malpractice and negligence can take many forms in hospitals and health care centers in Kansas City, some examples are more commonly involved in medical malpractice lawsuits than others. If you have been affected by one of these types of malpractice, you more than likely have grounds for a civil lawsuit:

  • Medication mistake
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Lab result mistake
  • Emergency room mistake
  • Surgical error
  • Lack of informed consent to a procedure
  • Anesthesia error
  • Poor follow-up care
  • Premature discharge
  • Birth injury
  • Infection or bedsore

No matter what type of medical malpractice impacted you or your loved one in Kansas City, contact Dickerson Oxton, LLC for a free case evaluation. Malpractice is a serious type of tort, or wrongdoing, that can affect more patients than you alone. Coming forward can not only bring you justice and the financial compensation that you need but also implement changes at the hospital on a larger level for greater patient safety in the future.