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Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases

By Steve Charpentier on June 09, 2015

A gavel and a stethoscope The team at Charpentier Law Firm is committed to injury victims and their loved ones. We serve the people of Melbourne and the greater Central Florida region, and we won't be intimidated by business interests or their legal teams. This is crucial when dealing with medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors, surgeons, and hospitals.

An important part of medical malpractice cases is proving fault. Let's take a moment right now to consider what it means to prove fault.

What does it mean to prove fault?

Simply put, proving fault means establishing that a person was responsible for an incident occurring. It is part of assessing blame for an incident that leaves a person seriously injured and/or results in a material loss of some kind. In other words, proving fault involves demonstrating negligence on the part of the person who caused an injury.

If someone is at fault, he or she (or it, if we're talking about business entities) is legally liable and responsible for paying damages for the injuries and losses associated with the incident.

Clearly Establishing Cause and Effect

One of the important aspects in proving fault when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits is establishing a causal relationship between a medical professional's actions and the injury that was sustained by a patient. By demonstrating cause and effect, it shows that the medical professional was responsible for harm coming to the patient.

For example, if during a surgery, a surgeon leaves an instrument inside of the patient that results in internal bleeding and injury, there is a clear causal connection between these actions. Similarly, if a doctor prescribes a medication without considering the negative side effects that may arise when the patient takes the new medication in combination with another medication, a causal relationship can be established.

Considering the Standard of Care

The standard of care needs to also be considered when attempting to establish fault. The legal definition of the standard of care is as follows: "the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would exercise."

Essentially, an injured patient must establish that their doctor or surgeon did not live up to the standard of care with regard to medical attention and treatment. A failure to diagnose a condition (such as terminal cancer) or a misdiagnosis of a condition (such as misidentifying a viral infection as a bacterial infection) is one example of a failure to meet a standard of care.

How a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You

There are many challenges that injured patients face when it comes to proving fault in a medical malpractice case. By having a skilled attorney on your side, you will be able to receive guidance during the legal process, and assistance when it comes to assembling evidence to help establish fault in your case. We will work diligently for you and fight every step of the way.

Speak with Our Attorneys About Your Legal Options

If you or someone that you care about has been harmed as a result of a medical professional's negligent actions, it's important that you contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. The entire team here at Charpentier Law Firm looks forward to your visit and helping you in your time of legal need.

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