Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim in California
Medical malpractice is, unfortunately, not uncommon in the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer. Medical errors cause somewhere around 250,000 deaths each year - yet many of them are preventable. Medical malpractice can cause injuries that lead to lifelong disabilities or even death, though malpractice claims can be tricky to prove. Understanding how you must prove the negligence of a doctor is crucial to a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.
Three Elements of Proving Negligence
There are three things that you must prove when it comes to negligence in California. First, you must prove that the standard of care that your physician owed to you was violated. Second, you must prove that an injury resulted from that violation and third, you must prove that your injury had damaging consequences for your health. All three elements must be proven in order for your case to be considered legitimate.
A Violation of the Standard of Care
The first thing you must prove is that your doctor violated a standard of care. There are certain standards that all medical professionals are held to, such as using acceptable medical treatments for certain conditions. If your doctor failed to provide an adequate level of care, you can establish negligence.
A Resulting Injury
Second, you must prove that your doctor’s violation of the standard of care caused an injury to you that would not have happened if the standard of care was not violated. Both the negligence and injury elements must be present to establish malpractice - you do not have a case if you have injury without negligence or negligence without injury.
Damage to Your Health
Finally, you must prove that the injury that you suffered caused considerable damage to your health or your life. Types of damages could include:
- Hardship; and
- Loss of income.
Contact a San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyer
One of the people you should be able to always count on to make the right decision is your doctor. You are putting your life in their hands, so it can be extremely detrimental if they make a mistake, though they do happen. If you have an injury that resulted from the negligence of your doctor, you should contact a Santa Clara County medical malpractice attorney right away. Janoff Law can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation. Contact the office at 408-286-2300 to set up a consultation.