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Proving fault in medical malpractice cases

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Personal Injury

Doctors cannot always cure every patient. However, everyone can expect doctors in New Jersey to meet a certain level of professionalism by exercising appropriate care.

Negligence is at the core of most cases

Most medical malpractice cases involve negligence on the part of professionals when treating a patient. When attempting to prove that negligence caused a medical injury, a plaintiff must prove that the professional’s conduct fell below an acceptable standard of care. Establishing that standard requires testimony from a medical expert in the same field as the defendant, showing the latter failed to meet that standard.

Examples of malpractice include:

  • Incorrectly prescribing medication
  • Improper use of medical devices
  • Failure to obtain informed consent from a patient
  • Leaving medical tools in a patient’s body after surgery
  • Improper documentation of patient health data
  • Performing the wrong surgery
  • Misdiagnosis or improper treatment after diagnosis

Proving negligence is often difficult for plaintiffs, but the legal doctrine “res ipsa loquitur,” which means the “thing speaks for itself,” implies a particular result occurred and would not have occurred but for someone’s negligence. When this doctrine is invoked, the burden of proof shifts from the plaintiff to the defendant.

Medical negligence can have disastrous results

Negligence can take many forms in a medical setting, often producing life-changing injuries and even death. Some mistakes are more evident than others, and while many patients eventually recover, they frequently endure much pain and suffering. Mistakes can result in birth injuries, nursing home negligence, and incorrect X-rays and testing.

If you believe you or a family member are a victim of medical malpractice, you may be able to file a suit against your provider. Keeping thorough records can help prove your case.

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