Winning a medical malpractice lawsuit may be one of the biggest challenges a plaintiff can face because proving all necessary elements requires an in-depth understanding of the law surrounding the claim and the appropriate way to apply the law to your specific facts. To increase your chances of success, you need a skilled and experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyer who knows how to navigate the complexities of these actions.
If you believe you’re the victim of medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today to schedule your free consultation today by using our online contact form or calling (561) 655-1990.
Here’s a closer look at how your attorney will help you prove your medical malpractice claim.
You have the burden of proof
When you file a personal injury action such as medical malpractice, you are the plaintiff and have the “burden of proof.” This means you must meet a legal standard of proving each of the elements of your case in order to have a successful outcome. On the other hand, the defendant doesn’t have to prove anything, which may seem like an unfair advantage, but because you want the monetary settlement, you must prove that you suffered a loss.
Proving medical malpractice
These are the main four elements a plaintiff is required to prove in order to have a successful medical malpractice claim against a doctor, medical facility, or a medical professional.
Duty of care
All medical professionals owe their patients a “duty of care.” This duty means that they must provide appropriate medical care and treatment for a patient’s particular condition and that they cannot do harm to that patient. You’ll need to prove that you were the patient of the medical professional you’re suing.
Breach of duty
After you’ve established that the medical professional owed you a duty of care, you’ll need to prove that they breached that duty. This breach is generally their action or inaction that caused you harm. A common example of medical malpractice is leaving something inside a patient during surgery.
This is proving that the breach of duty was the actual or proximate cause of the harm you suffered and that you wouldn’t have suffered harm had the medical professional not been negligent.
You’ll need to show that the harm you experienced led to substantial losses. This not only means financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and others, but also non-financial losses, such as pain and suffering as well as emotional and mental trauma.
This is the most important part of proving your medical malpractice case, and it’s the most important reason you’ll need an attorney who’s an expert in Florida’s malpractice and personal injury laws. You only get one chance to file your lawsuit–there are simply too many complexities for a non-lawyer to manage, especially on such an important issue.
Just like in any other type of personal injury case, your medical malpractice attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to obtain the evidence you need. This will usually start by speaking with you and members of your family to get and understand the facts and the timeline of events.
Next will be obtaining and reviewing your medical records which can sometimes involve a lot of red tape – even though the records are yours. Your Florida medical malpractice lawyer knows how to obtain your records in a manner that can be used in court, even with potential obstructions by the medical facility.
In order to prove that the medical professional failed to meet their duty of care, you’ll need a medical expert in that field to testify on your behalf. You’ll also need an expert to prove how the medical injury has affected you. For example, if you’re no longer able to work in the same capacity as you did before your injury, an expert witness will testify to your earnings ability before your accident and your diminished earning capacity post-injury, including for the duration of your life. These lost earnings can be included in your final settlement.
The doctor’s history of malpractice
If you can establish that your doctor previously committed malpractice, that could help sway a jury in your favor. Your attorney will know how to perform the necessary research to find out whether or not this was the case.
The Florida Board of Medicine
This is a resource that provides information that could be key to your case, such as verifying if the doctor had a valid license at the time they were treating you. It can also show if complaints filed against them were pursued by the Board.
Your attorney will also look at statewide records to document any prior cases of malpractice filed against the medical professional, and any other actions filed against them such as relevant civil actions or criminal actions such as those involving substance abuse.
Injured by a doctor? Call us today.
The Florida medical malpractice lawyers with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are highly experienced and successful at proving medical malpractice. The risks are too high to try to take on a case like this by yourself–focus on your recovery and leave the rest to us.
Schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling (561) 655-1990.