Medical Malpractice & Burden of Proof Standards
Medical malpractice or negligence is the third leading cause of death in the US. This includes PA, of course, and Chester County, as many large teaching hospitals and physicians practice in PA and are established medical providers. In a study commissioned by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), John Hopkins University of Medicine studied the statistics and published this data as fact.
Not every incidence of suspected medical malpractice or negligence qualifies as a lawsuit, and individuals need to know when a case exists and when it does not. Medical errors will occur, and certain factors need to be present when seeking compensation due to medical neglect or errors.
Since anyone that seeks medical care and has an unfortunate experience or outcome might feel “wronged,” this does not necessarily mean that a physician or institution will be found liable. Some standards infringe on the Duty of Care, but some do not.
Bad outcomes in medical treatment should be discussed by a qualified attorney in Chester County, PA. Christian J. Hoey, ESQ, one of the top medical malpractice attorneys in the US, with decades of experience, should be called to ascertain whether any patient has a case against a practitioner or institution.
The Burden of Proof Standards in Medical Malpractice/Negligence
A certain Duty of Care needs to be maintained by all medical providers. However, there is much “grey” in this area, as there are both aggravating and mitigating circumstances. The Duty of Care mandates that reasonable expectations of care must be met, but circumstances can exist even when this standard is met.
· Aggravating circumstances
Since “reasonable standards” must be followed, any medical error by ANY medical personnel that leads to harm to a patient is considered an aggravating circumstance.
Some prime examples of this type of serious breach of the Duty of Care are cases where medical instruments are left inside the body of a patient during surgery or when an overdose of anesthesia occurs and leads to death or other types of injury.
These instances are entirely preventable, and the case for medical malpractice or negligence is more easily proven as the standard of care is seriously breached. The two examples given are only a sample, as dozens of aggravating circumstances can exist.
· Mitigating circumstances
These types of medical malpractice claims can be more difficult to prove. Examples of mitigating circumstances can include patients with adverse prognoses, such as cancer, or with multiple injuries or concurrent diagnoses.
Medical personnel might very well and usually do provide the Duty of Care necessary, but the patient does not recover nonetheless or suffers injuries that are deadly and do not respond to appropriate treatments.
While family members may be angry and feel justified in bringing a lawsuit against anyone involved in the care of this type of patient, this does not mean a successful prosecution of a defendant.
· Foreseeable dangers
Any medical treatment that does not take into account the foreseeable dangers of creating more injury or pain and suffering in a patient is generally a cause for bringing a lawsuit. Foreseeable dangers can also include treatments that are not necessary or that increase the financial burdens of unnecessary treatments.
The Duty of Care always includes a treatment plan that is reasonable and just. The Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm” is what drives the medical infringement of Duty of Care. This is generally an easier malpractice or negligence case for a seasoned malpractice attorney, although more complex than aggravating circumstances cases.
Conclusion-– Medical Malpractice/Negligence—Burden of Proof Standards
The burden of proof in medical malpractice and negligence cases rests with the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff has died or is in no condition to participate, with the family to prove malfeasance by medical personnel or institutions.
Grief may propel patients or families into wanting some type of compensation for pain, suffering, and financial loss. Medical malpractice and negligence cases do need a thorough review before the Statute of Limitations runs out and before any filings are done on behalf of plaintiffs.
Medical malpractice and negligence are all too common and one of the most serious types of personal injury, as many times it can be entirely preventable.
A team of professionals, such as those at HoeyLegal, of Paoli, PA, should be consulted ASAP. All initial consultations are free, and a form and two phone numbers are provided for quick contact: 610-647-5151 or 1-888-GO-HOEY1
Attorney Hoey understands that in these types of cases, “You cannot afford to lose!”