When someone is injured by medical negligence or experiences some other kind of medical malpractice, there are three criteria they must meet to demonstrate the validity of their claim. What are these three elements of medical malpractice, and how does someone go about proving them? Let’s find out.
Element 1 - Establishing a Relationship
The first element of a medical malpractice case requires that during a healthcare provider and patient relationship, the healthcare professional had a duty to provide a service that meets the “standard of care.”
Put another way; this means you voluntarily established a relationship with a licensed healthcare professional to perform particular medical services (such as a routine physical, operation, blood test, cosmetic procedure, etc.).
Element 2 - The Standard of Care
The second element requires that the healthcare professional breached or violated the “standard of care.”
Standard of care seems like an intimidating term, but it just means asking what someone of similar skill and training would do when faced with the same fact pattern. Demonstrating the standard of care can be difficult, especially when it comes to specialized procedures. In Florida, an expert witness in the same specialty must testify to a violation of the standard of care.
Element 3 - Damages
The third element is the legally recoverable damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other losses) you sustained because your provider failed to take care of you as required by the standard of care.
Proof of your damages requires the opinions of medical doctors and often the opinions of vocational, future medical care cost, and economic loss experts.
Proving Medical Negligence
Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and subject to strict time limitations. Demonstrating the second and third elements requires a careful legal strategy. When you’re recovering from a serious injury, worrying about your case should be the last thing on your mind. That’s why it’s a good idea for anyone pursuing a medical malpractice case to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
If you’d like an experienced Florida personal injury attorney from Gunn Law Group P.A. to evaluate your case, call (813) 993-1448 or send us an email.