How to Prove Causation in a Medical Malpractice Case
You may be the victim of medical malpractice, but how do you prove it? You may find yourself paralyzed after a hospital fall. Or you may be caring for a child suffering a brain injury because of a delayed C-Section. You might know that you have been wronged by a doctor or nurse, but how do you go about proving causation in medical malpractice cases?
What Do You Need to Prove in Medical Malpractice Cases?
There are four main elements to a medical malpractice case:
- That a patient/physician relationship existed. In other words, that the doctor or nurse was caring for you at the time of the malpractice and owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of the standard of care. The doctor or nursing staff are required to adhere to the duty of care. This is the level of care that a similarly trained physician or nurse would provide.
- The breach must cause the harm. Not only does the doctor or staff need to breach the standard of care, they need to have caused your harm while doing so. A failure to chart a patient’ status change, if that status change made no impact on the patient’s care, does not equal malpractice.
- That the patient was hurt. The breach must cause harm or damage. A breach in the standard of care that doesn’t result in harm will not support a claim for medical malpractice.
Sloppy practice of medicine doesn’t always equal medical malpractice if it does not cause harm.
Loss of Chance Doctrine
The loss of chance doctrine in medical malpractice cases does not exist in Texas. The doctrine means that a doctor or nurse had to deprive a patient of more than a 50% chance of survival for a claim to go forward. This is best illustrated in cancer cases. If for example, a terminally ill cancer patient, with only a 30% chance of survival is harmed by a physician; the patient would be unable to bring a medical malpractice case.
Work must be done initially to determine if the alleged neglect caused the patient to lose their more than 50% chance at survival. This work includes reviewing medical records, medical research, and statistics. It may also be necessary to consult with an expert to determine if there was a deviation from the standard of care that caused harm.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney Who Knows how to go about Proving Causation in Medical Malpractice Cases
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of a doctor or nurse, contact a medical malpractice attorney for a free consultation. Chelsie King Garza has experience with proving that a failure on the part of the doctor or nurse caused injury or harm. Contact her today.