Medical malpractice is often difficult to prove. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult personal injury cases to win.
But why is this the case? It’s all about proof.
Proving medical malpractice is not as simple as other personal injury cases, such as being hit by a car, or falling and cutting yourself.
There are a lot of factors you need to consider, including how the negligent behavior was conducted, how the injury was caused, and what damages were sustained.
It’s not uncommon for a medical malpractice case to last more than eighteen months and upwards of two years, even with what you think is a “strong case.”
This can be disheartening, but don’t worry.
The remainder of this blog post will discuss more on why medical malpractice is difficult to prove.
Proving medical malpractice
As previously mentioned, proving medical malpractice is not as straightforward as it may initially seem.
Even if you can prove damages and a lack of care, proving these in court is another story entirely.
An injured patient must prove that the physician or medical professional neglected the following:
- A professional duty owed to the patient
- Breach of such duty
- Injury caused by a breach
- Resulting damages
These factors were taken from the National Library of Medicine.
Keep reading to find out how each component works.
A professional duty owed to the patient
When you walk into a medical establishment, whether for a doctor’s appointment or surgery on your knee, you expect to be treated with professional care and duty.
The term “professional duty” covers many factors under the umbrella of providing professional treatment to the best of the physician or doctor’s ability and knowledge.
For example, this could include providing the correct amount of sedation for an operation so you can’t feel the procedure, prescribing the correct dosage of medication, or providing inaccurate advice on a broken bone that results in another fracture.
With so many factors under the professional umbrella, this makes it even more difficult to prove medical malpractice in court.
Breach of such duty
Understanding the breach is one thing, but the breach of duty is another.
It can be difficult to prove that a doctor or physician did not treat you with professional care, whether that means they prescribed you the wrong dose of sedation or medication or caused physical harm by accidentally fracturing a bone or further causing injury during surgery.
Injury caused by a breach
There are endless injuries that can be caused by a breach of professional care, whether a broken bone, a massive increase in recovery (which did not need to happen), physical or mental trauma, misdiagnosis of treatment (such as failing to detect cancer), or an infection that occurred post-operation (that shouldn’t have happened).
The resulting damages vary from patient to patient. For some, the damages can be mild – mood swings and similar symptoms, while for others, it could mean the difference between life and death (such as diagnosing cancer).
For this reason, medical malpractice cases are treated very seriously – it’s also why they often last a long time (to ensure the patient receives adequate compensation if necessary).
Payout also differs massively, from thousands of dollars to more damaging cases that can pay upwards of a few million dollars.
It depends on your case, the treatment you were provided, and most importantly, how you can prove that you received poor duty of care resulting in damages that would not have happened with proper, professional advice and treatment.
Is medical malpractice difficult to prove?
Yes, medical malpractice is difficult to prove.
But if you’ve suffered a breach of professional care, then putting in a malpractice claim is the first step to achieving adequate compensation.
And while that may not be enough to replace the trauma or lasting injuries you’ve sustained, it’s certainly a start.
If you’re a medical professional, then investing in medical malpractice insurance protects you against claims. And with claims on the rise, even the best doctors and medical professionals are at risk. Protect yourself today with professional malpractice liability insurance.