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What must you prove in a medical malpractice case?

When you visit your Louisiana physician or enter the hospital for a surgical or other procedure, naturally you expect your physician and everyone else involved in your health care to competently provide it. The last thing you expect is that your doctor or other health care professional will hurt you or make you sicker than when you sought their medical help.

Unfortunately, however, health care professionals make mistakes all too often. In fact, preventable medical errors account for the third highest number of patient deaths in the United States. Your only recourse if a health care provider injures you is to sue that person, and the facility for which (s)he works, for medical malpractice.

What you must prove

FindLaw explains that in any medical malpractice lawsuit alleging negligence, you must prove all four of the following things:

  1. That your physician, nurse and other members of your health care team owed you a duty of care
  2. That (s)he breached his or her duty by providing you with substandard care
  3. That you suffered injury as a result of this breach
  4. That this injury’s proximate cause was his or her breach

Which care standard applies

It goes without saying that various kinds of medical practitioners must adhere to various care standards. Obviously, a surgeon’s standard of care is far different than that of, for instance, an x-ray lab technician. Therefore, when you and your attorney go about collecting medical experts to testify on your behalf at your trial, make sure they practice the same kind of medicine and operate under the same standard of care as the person you are suing.

While you should not interpret this information as legal advice, it can help you understand what you must prove if you sue someone for medical malpractice.

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