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How do you prove fault in a medical malpractice case?

Almost all Pittsburgh residents will visit the doctor or undergo a medical procedure this year. Doctors are important in making sure we stay healthy or get us back on track in regaining our health. Most of the time our experiences with the medical community are positive. But when a medical mistake is made by a provider how does one determine who is legally responsible in a medical malpractice case?

While this post is not legal advice, in general medical malpractice happens when a doctor makes a medical mistake because they were negligent. If a doctor fails to provide the same level of care that another similarly capable doctor would and a mistake happens, then a patient may be able to seek a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are certain circumstances that need to be present to prove medical negligence. The first is that there was a doctor/patient relationship. Second, there needs to be an established applicable standard of care and the doctor's care needs to have deviated from that standard of care. Third, the deviation from the standard of care caused the patient to have a worsened condition, and finally the patient had an injury or worsened medical condition.

If the physician is believed to be negligent because the care he provided was below the standard of care then a medical malpractice claim may be pursued. Compensation may be sought for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

When a person suffers from a medical mistake they can be faced with additional health challenges and health expenses. It is important to hold a physician accountable for their negligence so that they don't harm anyone else.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving fault in medical malpractice cases", accessed March 10, 2015

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