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How do injured plaintiffs prove doctors' medical malpractice?

When a Louisianan trusts his healthcare to a medical professional, he or she expects attentive and knowledgeable care. The patient likely expects to emerge from the interaction with improved health, or at the very least, not worse off than he or she began. Unfortunately, however, not all Louisianans receive this level of medical care. All too often, doctors provide inappropriate treatment and make costly mistakes.

When a Louisianan has been the victim of medical malpractice, he or she may want to pursue a lawsuit to hold a negligent doctor liable. Typically, a plaintiff will need to establish that the treating medical professional acted negligently in his or her care of a patient.

Establishing medical negligence is a multi-step process. First, a plaintiff must establish that the medical professional owed a duty to the patient. This is commonly found in a doctor/patient relationship. Subsequently, a patient must establish what the standard of care was for the situation, and that the doctor or other medical professional deviated from that standard of care, thereby breaching the duty he or she owed the patient.

A plaintiff must then demonstrate that there is a causal connection between how the medical professional deviated from the applicable standard of care and the injury that the plaintiff suffered. Finally, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she did in fact suffer an injury due to the poor medical care he received.

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, requiring the testimony of a medical expert to establish the relevant standard of care, as well as emotional, as a patient relives the pain he or she experienced. It may be helpful for Louisianans who are considering pursuing such a course of action to seek legal counsel for guidance.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases," accessed April 1, 2016

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