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Why is it so hard to win a malpractice case?
As an attorney specializing in malpractice cases I would like to offer my perspective, on the factors that impact the success of a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s important for you as a plaintiff to have an understanding of these factors.
Proving Breach of Standard of Care
The foundation of your case lies in demonstrating that the healthcare provider did not meet the expected standard of care. This involves showing that the care provided was not what a competent and skilled healthcare professional would have provided under circumstances.
Establishing Direct Causation
Merely showing a breach of standard of care is insufficient; you must also establish that this breach directly caused your injury or harm. Establishing this link can often be the challenging aspect.
Demonstrating Substantial Damages
The viability of your case also hinges on demonstrating damages resulting from the malpractice. These damages may include harm, financial losses and emotional distress.
Reliance, on Expert Testimony
Medical malpractice cases heavily rely on authoritative expert testimony. Having experts who can testify about the standard of care and how it was breached in your case is crucial.
Defendants Defense Strategy
“Expect the healthcare provider or their insurance company to put up a defense. They may argue that the standard of care was met or that other factors caused your injuries.”
The final outcome can also be influenced by how the jury perceives the evidence, testimonies and the behavior of those involved during the trial.”
General Success Rate
“While every case is unique statistically speaking medical malpractice lawsuits are challenging and have varying rates of success. It’s important to maintain expectations and understand that winning a medical malpractice case often requires a prepared and solid argument.”
Chapter 766. Medical Malpractice and Related Matters, in accordance with Florida Statutes.
“I strongly recommend seeking guidance from a medical malpractice attorney to assess the strength of your case. As an attorney I provide insights into factors that might impact your chances, for success.”
Case Study on Surgical Negligence
Case: Surgeon Negligence Resulting in Patient Harm
This case study delves into a lawsuit concerning malpractice where a patient suffered harm due to the negligence of a surgeon. It sheds light on the intersection between practice and legal accountability.
Patient (Plaintiff) Jim Turner, a software engineer aged 45.
Surgeon (Defendant) Dr. Edgar Paz, a surgeon.
March 10 2023 Jim Turner seeks consultation with Dr. Paz regarding gallbladder pain.
April 15 2023 Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is performed.
Early May 2023 Complications arise during the period.
Mid May 2023 Diagnosis reveals bile duct injury.
June 2023 Legal proceedings commence.
Jim Turner, a professional has faced setbacks in terms of both his health and career due to complications arising from the surgery.
Supporting Plaintiff (Jim Turner) surgeon Dr. Alex Richardson testified that the bile duct injury was avoidable. He argued that it deviated from practices and was not a typical outcome of the procedure.
In Defense (Edgar Paz) Medical expert Dr. Emily Turner argued that complications, like these are uncommon.
He also mentioned that laparoscopic surgeries come with risks. He defended Dr. Pazs skills and track record.
Plaintiff (Jim Turner) Our legal team focused on demonstrating how the injury could have been prevented. We also presented evidence of the impact it had on Turners life. We relied on evidence and expert testimonies to establish negligence.
The defense team emphasized the risks associated with procedures. They argued that the complication was a known risk, not a sign of negligence.
Insights, from Jury Deliberation
The jury carefully considered the complexities of risks compared to practices. They were convinced by the argument that the injury could have been prevented. Ultimately they sided with the plaintiff based on the evidence presented regarding the nature of the injury and its consequences.
Ethical and Professional Considerations
Dr. Paz underwent a review by a board leading to training. The hospital initiated a review and update of its protocols and training processes.
Visual Elements, Comparative Analysis and Lessons Learned
Visual Elements: Infographics and flowcharts were used to illustrate the timeline of events as depict the decision making process in legal matters.
Comparative Analysis: This case was compared to cases highlighting differences, in outcomes and legal strategies employed.
Lessons Learned: The case emphasizes the significance of adhering to standards.
By representing Jim Turner in this case it further underscores the importance of holding medical practitioners accountable, for their actions. This real life example serves as a reminder that there are measures in place to seek justice when faced with medical negligence. Additionally it highlights the pursuit of excellence, in healthcare that remains a priority.
Studies & Research on Winning Medical Malpractice Cases
The concept of the Loss of Chance Doctrine, in medical malpractice liability recognizes that a persons chance of surviving a condition holds value even if the likelihood of recovery is less than 50%. This doctrine has sparked controversy with arguments from both supporters and opponents regarding its application in malpractice cases. Implementing this doctrine could potentially increase the chances of success in a malpractice lawsuit by lowering the standard for establishing causation.
Source: Loss of chance doctrine (Allen, 2012)
A study has discovered that most malpractice claims are ultimately dropped. Physicians should bear in mind that there is a greater than fifty fifty chance that a lawsuit will be dismissed, indicating that filing a lawsuit does not necessarily predict its outcome.
Source: Medical Economics
Research indicates a correlation between the quality of care provided and the outcomes of medical malpractice claims. Physicians tend to win jury trials, those where evidence of medical negligence is weak. Additionally settlements or awards decrease as the strength of evidence presented by patients weakens suggesting that stronger cases, against physicians are more likely to result in settlements or awards.
Source: Peters, P. (2009). Twenty Years of Evidence on the Outcomes of Malpractice Claims. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 467, 352-357.
The traits of patients can be used to anticipate the occurrence and result of claims, against doctors. Having a grasp, on these traits could help forecast the probability of a lawsuit advancing to court and what its potential outcome might be.
Source: Wu, C., Lai, H., & Chen, R. (2009). Patient characteristics predict occurrence and outcome of complaints against physicians: a study from a medical center in central Taiwan.. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi, 108 2, 126-34.
Hey, Have you had a Medical Malpractice Occur?
If you believe you have been a victim of malpractice it would be wise to seek advice, from a lawyer who specializes in this area. I can guide you on whether pursuing action’s necessary or appropriate in your situation.