Not all adverse or unwanted outcomes from medical procedures and care are malpractice. Doctors and medical providers cannot guarantee results. However, some bad outcomes are due to medical malpractice. If you or a family member has suffered an injury because of a medical procedure or medical care, Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys can review your case to determine if the care provided was below the standard of care and if that negligence caused the outcome.
Proving Medical Malpractice Claims in Tennessee
You must prove four basic elements in a medical malpractice case to establish medical malpractice. First, you must prove that the provider owed you a duty of care. This element is simple to prove by providing documentation showing that you and your doctor had a doctor-patient relationship.
Second, you must prove the medical provider breached the duty of care (“the standard of care”). In some cases, it is easier to prove negligence, such as in the case of a doctor operating on the wrong leg or a nurse leaving an instrument inside a patient during surgery. Sometimes, it is more difficult to prove a breach of duty. In Tennessee, expert medical witnesses must provide opinion testimony that the applicable standard of care was violated.
Establishing the Standard of Care in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Before moving to the third and fourth elements in a medical malpractice claim, we discuss defining the acceptable standard of care. This element and the third element of causation (proving the breach of duty caused your injury) are often the two most difficult elements to prove in a medical malpractice case.
The health care community establishes a standard of care. Health care professionals and medical experts review the case and provide testimony regarding the generally accepted procedures and practices for physicians or medical providers given a similar set of facts. In other words, what would reasonable medical providers have done in that situation? If the expert testimony differs from what the medical provider in your case did, then your provider breached the acceptable standard of care.
Proving Causation and Damages
Once you establish that the standard of care was breached, you must prove that the breach caused your injury. In most cases, medical experts also provide testimony demonstrating how the breach of the standard of care caused the injury.
The last required element in a medical malpractice claim is to prove you suffered damages because of the malpractice. Damages may include physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses. You may also have suffered physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish because of the medical malpractice.
Tennessee Medical Malpractice Attorneys Help You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries and Damages
The results of medical malpractice can be devastating for the patient and the family. For some individuals, medical malpractice results in permanent disabilities. In other cases, families lose loved ones because of medical malpractice. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law today. Our Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys investigate claims of malpractice to help individuals and families seek the compensation and justice they deserve. We can help you hold a doctor or other medical provider accountable for negligence and wrongdoing.
Posted in: Medical Malpractice