Proving Medical Malpractice in Washington D.C.

Doctors are held to a very high standard. This is because they are responsible for providing care for others and helping them in a time of need. This is to be done by following a certain standard of care that is based on the standard practice of their peers and the institution they work for. If a medical professional does not live up to this standard and a patient receives improper care, they can put the health of the patient at risk. This act of negligence is known as medical malpractice.

When dealing with medical malpractice, it is important to know what actions are considered as such. Just because a treatment may not be successful does not mean that malpractice has occurred. In order to have a medical malpractice claim, it must be proven that the medical professional breached the duty of care they owe their patient. This requires proof that they deviated from the standard of care in some way. In addition to this, it must be shown that the damages happened as a direct result of this breach.

There are four elements that can be used to prove these matters. This includes:

Duty

A medical malpractice claim can only be successful against a medical provider that owed an individual a duty of care. For example, this cannot be established against a friend that is a doctor who gave you advice regarding a health matter. The duty of care is established when an individual visits a medical provider in a clinical setting. This duty can be proven by the medical records from the visit.

Deviation

In order to have a successful claim, it must be proven that your provider deviated from the accepted standards of care under the circumstances. You would not have a claim if a different provider with the same experience and training did the same as your provider. Evidence to prove deviation can consist of medical records, eyewitness testimony, and testimony from medical experts.

Direct Cause

When proving there was a breached duty of care, it is also your responsibility to prove that this breach was the direct cause of the damages that were suffered. If the mistake made by the doctor and your complications are not related, you may not have a successful malpractice claim.

Damages

With the help of your attorney, it must be proven that you incurred damages due to the lack of care you received. In Washington D.C., damages that can be recovered may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Court costs

In order to prove damages, evidence that can be helpful may consist of:

  • Hospital bills
  • Pharmacy receipts
  • Income statements and paystubs
  • Statistics regarding average earnings for the industry you are in
  • Invoices for home care
  • Pictures of visible wounds
  • Daily journal entries outlining your recovery process

Contact our Firm

The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Trombly & Singer, PLLC are prepared to represent clients facing legal matters after being injured due to another person’s negligence. If you require strong legal representation in Washington D.C. or Maryland, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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