What Types Of Evidence Do You Need To Prove Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional causes harm or injury to a patient due to negligence, a breach in the standard of care, or failure to provide the required level of care. Proving medical malpractice can be a challenging task, as the claimant needs to provide concrete evidence to support their case.
Our Fulton County personal injury lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers understand what types of evidence are needed to prove medical malpractice and help injured patients recover the compensation they deserve.
Evidence Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice
Below are the various types of evidence needed to prove medical malpractice, helping individuals considering filing a claim to understand the essential components of a strong case. Keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time for gathering evidence and filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Georgia, the deadline for filing a lawsuit is two years from the date on which the injury occurred (Georgia Code § 9-3-71).
1. Medical Records
Medical records are perhaps the most critical piece of evidence in a medical malpractice case, as they provide a detailed account of the patient’s condition, treatment, and care received. The records usually include information on diagnoses, medications, surgical procedures, test results, and follow-up appointments. To prove medical malpractice, you will need to obtain copies of your medical records to demonstrate a direct link between the healthcare provider’s negligence and the harm caused. It’s essential to review your records thoroughly to identify any discrepancies or inaccuracies that could weaken your case.
2. Diagnostic Testing
Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans, and blood tests, can serve as evidence in medical malpractice cases, especially when misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is the primary issue. Accurate diagnostic tests can help to establish the correct diagnosis promptly and determine the most effective course of treatment. If the healthcare provider failed to order the necessary tests or misinterpreted the test results, leading to incorrect treatment or harm, diagnostic testing records can strengthen your case.
3. Expert Opinions
In medical malpractice cases, expert opinions are often required to substantiate the claim. An expert witness, usually a medical professional with extensive experience in the relevant field, provides an independent assessment of the case. The expert’s role is to offer an unbiased opinion on whether the doctor or healthcare professional in question breached the standard of care in the specific situation.
Additionally, the expert witness may testify on the connection between the doctor’s negligence and the injury suffered by the patient. It’s vital to choose a highly qualified and credible expert witness to provide a compelling and effective argument for your case.
4. Witness Testimony
Witness testimonies can also play a significant role in building a strong medical malpractice case. Eyewitness accounts of the incident or medical treatment in question can help to corroborate your claim and provide additional support for your case. Witnesses can include fellow patients, family members, nurses, or other medical professionals who were present during the alleged malpractice. It’s essential to gather statements from witnesses as soon after the incident as possible, to ensure accurate and reliable recollections.
5. Past Malpractice Claims Against the Doctor
If the doctor or healthcare provider against whom you are filing a malpractice claim has a history of similar lawsuits, this information can strengthen your case. This evidence may point to a pattern of negligence, misdiagnosis, or poor patient care. While a history of malpractice claims does not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome in your case, it may prompt the medical professional’s liability insurance company to consider a settlement to avoid going to trial.
Get Legal Help in Gathering Evidence
Proving medical malpractice and obtaining the compensation you deserve for your harm or injury is a daunting and complex process. Familiarizing yourself with the types of evidence required can help you better understand the claims process and what to expect along the way. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers to discuss your particular case and determine the best types of evidence to help you prove medical malpractice. We handle medical malpractice cases in Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Atlanta, Dunwoody, and Alpharetta. Call 770-685-6400 to get a free case review.