Which Element of a Medical Malpractice Case is Hardest to Prove?
The hardest element of a medical malpractice case to prove is the breach of the duty of care, the second element. This is because proving that the medical provider acted in a way that was not reasonable can be difficult. To do so, your attorney must show that the medical provider’s actions were different from how a trained, competent, and reasonable medical provider would have acted if they were in the same situation.
Peter Angelos Law – Reliable Representation from a Team of Medical Malpractice Attorneys You Can Trust
If you have been injured because of the negligent actions of your medical provider, you may be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice cases allow victims to recover the damages they have suffered as a result of their injuries and pursue compensation for the pain, mental trauma, and emotional distress they have been through.
Fighting a medical malpractice lawsuit can be difficult. The laws surrounding medical malpractice are complex, and the insurance company behind the medical provider responsible for your injuries will have a highly trained legal team ready to fight on their behalf. Their sole job is to reduce the insurance companies’ pay-out and that means they spend every day fighting against victims like you.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our attorneys are well-known throughout the state of Maryland for their skill and reputation for winning complex cases. We advocate aggressively on behalf of our clients, ensuring no stone is left unturned. We won’t settle for anything less than you truly deserve, and we are willing to go the distance, fighting your case in court if necessary.
Often, our reputation precedes us, and many of the insurance companies that protect medical providers in Maryland will have heard of us. This makes it more likely they will treat you fairly and offer a settlement outside of court that is reasonable.
Call us at 410-705-2405.
What Elements Must Proven in Medical Malpractice Cases
When it comes to medical malpractice, winning your case will rely on your attorney’s ability to prove the four elements of negligence.
The first element is proving that the responsible party owed you a duty of care at the time of the incident. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a manner that protects another individual from harm. All medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients, making this element easy to prove in medical malpractice cases.
The second element, which is the most difficult to prove, is that the responsible party breached their duty of care to you with their actions. To prove this, it must be shown that their behavior was unreasonable and that another reasonable individual in the same situation would not have acted the way they did.
The third element is causation, and this means proving that the actions of your medical provider directly caused the injuries you have suffered. This is another problematic element to prove, as there may have been several factors that contributed to a patient’s injuries.
Proving causation will often require expert testimonials from medical experts working with your attorney as they will not have adequate medical experience or training to decide a case themselves.
The final element is proving that the injuries have led to the victim suffering economic and noneconomic damages that they are attempting to recover in their claim.
These damages may include:
Lost Income/Lost Wages
Successful medical malpractice lawsuits allow for the victim to recover all of the wages they have lost while they spend time receiving treatment and recovering from the injuries they have suffered. Medical errors can often result in the victim requiring time off work and, in some cases, may result in the victim never being able to return to work in the same capacity ever again. In these cases, your attorney may speak to medical and financial experts to determine what this long-term loss of earning potential should be compensated for.
You should not be left out of pocket paying for medical expenses relating to an injury caused by a negligent provider; thankfully, if your case is successful, you can recover all of your medical expenses.
This covers all past expenses and should cover your future expenses too, meaning that if you are likely to require life-long treatment, your attorney may need to speak to medical experts who can help them to gauge how much compensation will be necessary to cover these costs.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are often the most substantial of any medical malpractice case and are designed to compensate you for the pain and trauma you have been through as a result of the malpractice.
Often, attorneys will apply a multiplier to the sum of all of the economic damages you have suffered, depending on how severe they see your pain and suffering to have been.
A life-long injury may have a multiplier of 3, or a 4 if you are likely to suffer from chronic pain. A simple injury likely to heal quickly may result in a multiplier of 2 being applied.
The more experience your attorney has in previous cases, the better, as they will be able to more accurately deduce what you should be compensated for in terms of your pain and suffering.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If, following the incident, your enjoyment of life has been affected, you deserve compensation for this loss. For example, if you can no longer play catch with your son, carry your daughter to bed, or ride your motorbike on the weekends, you should be compensated for the loss of enjoyment you are now facing as a result of your medical provider.
Why is it Difficult to Prove Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Medical malpractice cases usually involve incredibly complex evidence, making them different from most personal injury cases. This evidence may be difficult to understand for anyone without a medical background. Often, the patient themselves may be unsure of what has happened and where their case falls in terms of medical malpractice rules.
This is why attorneys and the Judges presiding over cases involving malpractice will always rely on expert witnesses, medical records, and testimonials to understand what has happened.
Lack of Expert Witnesses
To prove medical malpractice, your attorney will usually need to contact expert witnesses but sometimes this can be difficult. Sometimes finding a specific expert that has the relevant knowledge regarding the procedure or medication that caused the injury is hard. Without these experts, medical malpractice cases become a lot more difficult to win.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Does someone unsatisfied with the results of his or her surgery have a viable medical malpractice claim?
Unfortunately, medical procedures often carry some level of inherent risk. You will only have a valid medical malpractice case if you can prove your injuries were preventable. If your medical provider acted with all due care and attention and followed all of the relevant medical practices to the letter, and you have suffered an injury, you may not have a case as it may not have been a medical mistake caused by negligence.
If you have suffered an injury or medical error caused by negligence that may have been preventable, you most likely have a case and should talk to a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
How long do medical negligence claim cases take?
A medical malpractice case is a complex legal matter and can take a long time to resolve. Depending on the complexity of the case, the length of time for resolution can vary widely. A medical malpractice case can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete. The length of time depends on the number of parties involved, the amount of medical evidence that needs to be reviewed, whether or not a settlement or jury trial is required, and the number of pretrial motions that need to be heard.
Can a medical malpractice case be reopened after it has been settled?
As soon as you have signed to accept a settlement, you forgo the right to pursue any future legal action against the at-fault party. This is why discussing any settlement offer with your attorney is always important before agreeing to anything.
How are medical negligence cases funded?
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we work on a contingency fee basis. This allows us to work for no-up-front fees. With this fee structure, you do not pay upfront for representation or if you lose the case. You simply pay a percentage of any settlement we win for you in your case.
Do all medical negligence cases go to court?
The outcome of your case often depends on the complexity of the situation. If the doctor was obviously negligent, it is probable that the other side will accept your settlement offer, as their chances of winning in court are slim.
However, if the circumstances are more complicated, they may be willing to take the case to court. In this case, the success of your claim depends on the strength of your case and the expertise of your legal representative.
Should you accept the first offer of compensation?
Insurance companies may try to entice you with an offer that appears appealing and timely, yet the amount may be far lower than what they are actually willing to provide. You should decline the original offer and consult with a legal professional to make a well-informed decision.
Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys May be Able to Help
You should be able to expect a certain level of competency from your medical providers, and when they act negligently, you deserve to hold them accountable for your damages.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our team has worked with numerous clients to secure favorable outcomes following instances of medical malpractice. Our team of fierce medical malpractice attorneys are aggressive advocates and will fight without rest to ensure you obtain a favorable outcome.
We will work with you every step of the way, keeping you informed and educated about the process. This makes our approach to the client-attorney relationship second to none.
Call us today at 410-705-2405.