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What must you prove in a medical malpractice case?

Should you become ill or injured as the result of an Ohio health care professional’s negligence or wrongdoing, you can sue that person and the facility for which (s)he works for medical malpractice. Unfortunately, medical errors occur far too frequently nowadays and in fact account for the third leading cause of American deaths.

Also unfortunately, however, a medical malpractice lawsuit represents one of the most complicated types of case in which you can involve yourself. Even though the standard of proof is clear and convincing evidence, producing this evidence can be challenging.

Medical malpractice proof

FindLaw explains that when you sue a health care professional for medical malpractice under a theory of negligence, you must prove the following four things:

  1. That the defendant(s) owed you a duty of care
  2. That (s)he and/or they breached this duty and instead rendered you substandard care
  3. That you suffered compensable damages because of this breach
  4. That the breach represented the proximate cause of your illness or injury

Standard of care

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all standard of care. For instance, the duty of care your surgeon owes you varies considerably from that owed you by your OB/GYN or primary care physician. This becomes crucial when you and your attorney seek out expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.

In most jurisdictions, each of your expert witnesses must hold the same academic degree and practice in the same medical specialty as one of the defendants who you are suing. In other words, (s)he must himself or herself practice medicine under the same standard of care as the defendant whose care (s)he testifies to as substandard.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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Toledo, OH 43617

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