Hospitals rely on their reputations to gain patients’ trust and build relationships within their surrounding communities. However, medical malpractice suits quickly dissolve the trust and those critical relationships.
It makes sense that courts try to uphold a high standard for proof of medical malpractice in order to protect hospitals from unnecessary lawsuits and still help victims of severe mistakes.
Requirements for proving negligence
In order to establish an allegation of medical negligence, the filer has to show that the staff’s conduct fell short from a reasonable standard of care. In general, there are four elements to prove negligence during a suit:
- To show that there is an existence of a legal duty on the part of the doctor to provide care or treatment
- To show a breach of this duty by a failure of the treating doctor to adhere to the standards of their profession
- To establish a relationship between the breach and injury to the patient
- To prove the existence of damages that flow from the injury (such as a loss of wages)
Without all four factors, it’s challenging for patients to show that a doctor’s negligence is a direct cause of their suffering. However, it’s critical for patients to address improper care in order to educate other medical professionals and hold hospitals liable for inappropriate practices.
The best first step for victims of malpractice is to gather documentation, eyewitness accounts and necessary paperwork to establish your claims in court. Once you have evidence, look at the requirements and decide if legal action is the right path for you.