Following an injury due to medical negligence, patients and families frequently seek legal representation in order to set forth a claim in court. Plaintiffs can be a wide range of individuals including the patient, a party acting on behalf of the patient, or even the executor of a deceased patient’s estate. Once medical malpractice attorneys begin representation, the lawsuit is filed within the appropriate jurisdiction and the legal process is underway. Although it may seem like a long and confusing endeavor, the startling frequency of incidents of medical negligence make filing a lawsuit one of the only ways to seek justice and compensation today.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
Since the plaintiff is the party bringing the lawsuit, the patient, and his or her medical malpractice attorneys, bear the burden of proving all of the necessary elements of the case by a preponderance of evidence (also known as the “more likely than not” standard). There are four key elements involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- First, it is necessary to prove that a legal duty was owed by the healthcare provider to the patient.
- Secondly, it must be proven that the healthcare provider breached the duty of care that they were supposed to fulfill.
- Thirdly, the patient must show that because of the breach, they sustained an injury.
- Finally, even if a patient is able to show that their healthcare provider acted negligently, this is not enough. We need to show damages to ensure that there is a basis for the claim.
Settlement or Trial?
A large majority of cases are settled without ever reaching the inside of a courtroom. If both sides are able to reach a fair and reasonable agreement, lawyers will try to settle the claim. Without an agreement, the case will proceed to trial. At trial, both parties will present evidence and expert witnesses to testify as to the standard of care that is required and whether or not the healthcare provider lived up to that standard. The finder of fact, whether it is a jury or just the judge, will then weigh all of the evidence and determine which side is more credible. Attorneys will attempt to prove their case in order to provide their client the proper compensation for the injuries that they have sustained.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you or a family member has recently been the victim of medical negligence, it is possible that you would like to speak with one of our professionals. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.