The Evidence You Need to Prove Medical Malpractice
Being injured as a result of medical malpractice can potentially be a life-shattering experience. Initially, there is the realization that the trust that the patient placed in the medical professional was crushed. Once this realization comes to light, then there is the very real possibility that the injury caused by the medical malpractice may have far-reaching effects, and, in some cases, cannot be rectified. Fortunately, retaining the services of an experienced Miami medical malpractice attorney can be essential to obtaining reimbursement for the costs associated with the injury, as well as, in some cases, punishment for the error of the medical professional. Nevertheless, even if obtaining the services of a medical malpractice attorney, the job of that individual is to present a case strong enough to convince the trier of fact (usually a jury, but potentially a judge) that the error was not only preventable, but actionable for compensation. It is important to note, however, that sometimes evidence may be used as part of a criminal prosecution against a medical professional.
Medical malpractice matters are brought under the general legal theory of negligence, and, in fact, medical malpractice is a specialized version of negligence. The primary argument of an injured patient in a medical malpractice matter is that the medical professional failed to adhere to a standard of care which directly led to the patient’s injuries. Accordingly, to be successful in a medical malpractice matter, an injured plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- That the medical professional was subject to a standard of care owed to the patient, the basis of which is a general premise not to do any harm to a patient and is also based on the specific medical specialty under which the medical professional operates;
- That the medical professional failed to adhere to the standard of care;
- That this failure directly led to the patient’s injury; and
- That the injury can be quantifiable as damages.
Evidence to Bolster a Medical Malpractice Matter
While some elements may be easier to prove, each element above must be proven through the use of evidence. For example, with regard to the first element, the medical professional must owe his/her duty of care to the injured patient. Obviously, this means that there must be a relationship between medical professional and the patient, the proof of which may be an invoice from the medical professional to the patient for services rendered. Regarding the failure of the medical professional to adhere to the standard of care, evidence provided by expert witnesses to what the standard of care is, and how the medical professional failed to adhere to that standard are commonly used to establish this issue.
For the injury, the following are some of the more common examples of evidence that can be used to prove this element:
The patient’s medical records, including not only records directly from the medical professional, but also diagnostic studies, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and any laboratory diagnostic testing, and medicines taken and treatments prescribed;
Expert testimony, which although is used primarily to show not only the standard of care, but also whether there was a failure to uphold the standard of care, can also be used to bolster that the injury was the result of preventable error by the medical professional;
The patient’s own medical journal, which is used to document the patient’s medical history from the patient’s point of view;
Any documents from the patient’s insurance company; and
Any invoices related to the injury suffered by the patient.
Seek Legal Advice
If you were injured as a result of a recent medical procedure and believe that the injury was the result of error on the part of the attending medical professional, contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Pita Weber & Del Prado as soon as possible. Having experienced attorneys at your side is the key to winning your case, and our attorneys have decades at the negotiation table and in the courtroom to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our Miami office today for an initial consultation.