To succeed in a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must prove that an act, lack of action, or omission by a health care provider deviated from the accepted standard of practice and resulted in an injury to the patient.
The Difficulty in Proving Medical Malpractice
Proving medical malpractice has occurred is not easy. After all, many believe that malpractice concerns make doctors practice defensive medicine. Often this leads to more procedures and various steps to establish a comprehensive record of care conducted primarily not to ensure the health of the patient, but as a safeguard against potential malpractice liability.
The definition of medical malpractice requires two things to be true:
- The health care provider deviated from the accepted standard of practice
- That deviation is what caused injury to the patient
“Accepted standard of practice” can be a difficult phrase to define. After all, some medical procedures carry certain knowable risks. Physicians aren’t responsible if those knowable risks manifest during your surgery or procedure. For example: if you undergo laser eye surgery and one of the knowable risks is that you may lose your sight, you may not have a clear medical malpractice case on your hands if you do end up blind after the procedure.
It also may be difficult to prove that a doctor’s deviation from the accepted standard of care is what caused your injury. Medical protocols and procedures exist to help better define that accepted standard of care. If a physician can show that he or she followed protocol to the letter, it may be difficult to prove that your injury was their fault. Even if the physician did deviate, if you weren’t injured, you likely don’t have a case. A physician could fail to know what medicines you’re allergic to, but unless you suffer an allergic reaction because of it, the doctor likely will not be held responsible for his or her negligence.
It’s difficult to prove cases of medical malpractice. For reasons such as this, it is imperative that victims find an experienced medical malpractice attorney to fight for their rights.