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Medical Malpractice Attorneys

How to Prove Medical Malpractice or Negligence

If you have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice and are considering legal steps against the practitioner or hospital, then your first step should be to visit experienced medical malpractice attorneys.

Proving the wrongdoing on the part of the practitioner is the difficult part. You need to prove that the medical caregiver was indeed negligent in the provision of medical care and because of such, you have suffered injury.

How do you prove negligence?

This is where the medical malpractice attorneys play a major role. Their expertise in assessing the merits of your particular situation helps them in determining the probability of winning the lawsuit or, at least, obtaining a settlement to your benefit.

Doctor-Patient Relationship

Not every mistake a doctor makes gives enough reason to take legal steps. However, if you have suffered damage as a direct result of the action or failure to act according to accepted and reasonable procedures, you must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed. This means that the medical caregiver must have directly provided you with a diagnosis or medically treated you based on the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. It is usually not a difficult factor to prove.

You, however, cannot bring a lawsuit against a doctor who provided an opinion on treatment protocol to your doctor who followed the specific doctor’s advice as there wasn’t a doctor-patient relationship between you and the advisor.

Proof of Negligence

In this instance you must prove that the caregiver did not follow protocol. In essence, you must be able to prove that the medical professional did not perform the treatment according to the reasonable and acceptable standard for medical care. Here, the challenge is to prove that other medical professionals in similar instances within the same country would have acted differently and with more care or skill.

The malpractice attorney will call on expert witnesses to testify on the topic of how other reasonably skilled and competent medical professionals would have treated you in similar circumstances based on the generally accepted reasonable standard of medical care for the particular condition or situation. The witnesses will testify regarding how your medical professional deviated from the accepted standard for medical care in the treatment process.

Damage as Result of Negligence

The injury and damage sustained must be directly related to the negligence of the medical professional with whom you had a doctor-patient relationship. The injury cannot be result of another underlying health or medical condition and may not be the result of your action, failure to act or non-compliance with instructions.

If you have, for instance, removed stitches from a healing wound before the date due for removal, the doctor cannot be held responsible for the injury sustained as the result thereof. Here also, medical expert witnesses will be called upon to determine whether or not the injury sustained is a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.

Proof of Injury and Damage

Apart from all the above elements to prove, you must also be able to prove that you have sustained injury and have suffered harm as a result of the caregiver’s negligence. Note that the damages can be physical, financial and mental. You may have been unable to work as a result of the injury and thus have lost income. You may also have expenses related to more medical treatments related to treatment of the injury and may have suffered permanent physical damage. In addition, the emotional trauma must be considered.

What Next?

Don’t procrastinate on the issue. Call on our medical malpractice attorneys for legal guidance.


Note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and should not be seen as an attempt to provide legal advice. We strongly recommend that you contact us at Adele van der Walt Incorporated for professional legal advice.

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