Challenges of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
When you receive medical treatment, you expect your doctor to provide the best care he or she possibly can. You don’t anticipate them cutting corners or outright neglecting important aspects of their care, but sometimes, it does happen. Unfortunately, your legal options when dealing with medical malpractice can be limited due to the complexity of these cases.
There are many factors that go into winning a malpractice lawsuit, and each of them will usually be stacked against you, making skilled legal guidance absolutely necessary.
Duty of Care and Negligence
In order to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to prove two things:
- A doctor neglected his or her duty to provide care in keeping with established standards
- That neglect caused you harm
The harm caused by a physician’s neglect should be at least loosely quantifiable, meaning you can attach a dollar amount to the pain, suffering, and expense caused by his or her neglectful actions.
Lack of Evidence
The point where this all becomes difficult is when it comes to showing that a doctor’s actions constitute neglect. Often, you have no more hard evidence than the doctor’s own notes, and those may not be the easiest to interpret.
Aside from that, you have only your own experiences to rely on, and those may not necessarily hold up. As traumatic as an experience may be, it often does not reveal how a doctor departed from established medical standards, so it’s important to incorporate other forms of evidence.
The key to winning most malpractice lawsuits is through expert witnesses. These are qualified medical professionals who are familiar with the types of treatment you would have received and who, by examining the processes the doctor followed and your own experiences of what happened, can determine where your doctor went wrong.
In a courtroom setting, an expert witness will be able to use their own credibility to support your case, making it far more viable than it would be otherwise. One of the difficulties here is finding doctors who are willing to testify against fellow practitioners. Many aren’t, making this a challenge in its own right.
Convincing the Jury
One final hurdle to get past is the jury. Juries frequently rule in favor of the doctor since they are aware that the practice of medicine is difficult. The reality is no one is perfect, including your doctor, so something that may appear as an honest mistake won’t be as likely to win in a courtroom setting. It is vital to be able to tell your story in a way that will earn their favor and to support it with expert testimony.
Winning a Case
The key to bringing everything together is an experienced medical malpractice attorney. They will have the experience to know what will work and what won’t, and the best attorneys keep lists of highly qualified expert witnesses who would be willing to lend their support to your case. While there will always be a chance (and often a strong one) that your case may fail, having the right resources at your disposal will maximize your odds. Hart David Carson LLP is a great place to start when it comes to winning a medical malpractice suit, so contact us today.