How to Prove Medical Negligence and File a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a medical professional who fails to perform their duties competently. This can include a doctor failing to diagnose what is wrong, administering improper treatment, or not warning the patient of a treatment’s known risks. According to the state’s rules, the patient should file a claim against the medical professional for such malpractice.

Each state has its own rules about medical malpractice, including whether you need to notify the physician first and when to bring the lawsuit. However, there are general and broad categories of rules that most medical malpractice cases follow. This is why consulting an experienced and reputed lawyer like attorney Russell Berkowitz of Berkowitz Hanna Malpractice & Injury Lawyers is always a good idea.

This article will consider some basic requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim.

There Must Have Been a Doctor-Patient Relationship

To initiate a medical malpractice claim, the patient needs to establish a physician-patient relationship with the doctor being sued. This typically involves an explicit agreement between the two parties, such as a discussion between the patient and the doctor regarding the latter’s services.

It is easier to prove the existence of a doctor-patient relationship if the doctor has begun seeing and treating you. However, if the consulting medical professional did not treat you directly, there may be questions about whether or not a relationship exists.

Medical Negligence Must Be Proven Beyond a Doubt

It is not enough to be unhappy with your doctor’s treatment methods or the treatment results. Proving that the doctor was negligent in their diagnosis and treatment is key for a medical malpractice claim. Proving medical negligence means you show that the doctor harmed you in a way that a “reasonable doctor” would not have in the same situation.

The doctor does not have to be the best possible, but they must be “reasonably skillful and careful.” A doctor’s reasonable skillfulness and carefulness are often the major topics of discussion in a medical malpractice claim. The patient is typically required to present a medical expert to discuss the right medical standard of care. Then, they will show how the defendant’s physician deviated from this standard.

The Injury Must Have Directly Resulted from the Physician’s Negligence

The possibility of a doctor’s negligence resulting in the injury is always considered in these cases. For instance, if a patient died after being treated for lung cancer, and the doctor was negligent, it can be hard to prove that the patient’s death was due to the doctor’s negligence rather than cancer. Therefore, the patient must show that the doctor’s incompetence “more likely than not” directly caused the injury. Almost all states will require that the patient have a medical expert testify against the doctor. These experts have the professional acumen and reputation necessary to offer credible opinions by evaluating all the factors.

The Injury Must Have Resulted in Certain Damages

A medical malpractice claim is invalid if the patient did not suffer any harm or injury, even if the doctor was found to have been negligent. That is, even if it is evident that the doctor performed below their field’s expected standard, the patient could not sue for malpractice unless the doctor actually caused them harm.

In case the damages are proven, the patient can seek compensation for various types of harm in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This includes lost wages, reduced earning potential, mental distress, physical pain, and any additional medical expenses incurred.


A complex body of rules governs and regulates medical malpractice law, and this varies from one state to another. There are also various factors involved in satisfactorily proving medical negligence beyond a doubt. Hence, if you are filing a medical malpractice claim, consider hiring a seasoned medical malpractice attorney for trusted legal advice and representation. They will handle the legal complexities on your behalf and provide invaluable advice and guidance every step of the way while fighting to uphold justice.

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