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How do you prove fault in a medical malpractice case?

It is an unfortunate fact that, even with all the advances in technology these days, each year far too many Americans suffer due to medical malpractice incidents. Failures to diagnose diseases, wrong-site surgeries and prescription medication mix-ups are just a few examples of how a Louisiana resident might suffer harm due to mistakes made by medical professionals. Fortunately, many of these victims may be able to attempt to recover financial compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. But, how do you prove fault in such a case?

For starters, the concept of "negligence" is important to understand in a medical malpractice case. Under this legal theory, a victim of medical malpractice must prove that a medical professional made some type of error or omission in the patient's treatment, thereby leading to harm to the victim which would not have occurred but for the act or omission of the medical professional.

The first step of proving fault in a medical malpractice case is to establish that a "doctor-patient" relationship existed, thereby creating a "duty" on the part of the medical professional for the patient's care and treatment. Next, the "standard of care" that was applicable to the particular treatment in question must be established, and then it must be established that the medical professional did not meet that standard of care in the course of treatment in question.

After that, the patient must establish that there was a connection between the medical professional's negligent act or omission and the injury or worsened medical condition that resulted for the patient. Lastly, the victim must be able to establish the damages suffered due to the medical malpractice, which often includes thousands of dollars in unintended medical expenses.

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Tauzin & Lorio, Attorneys at Law
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