Causation difficult to prove in medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare provider harms their patient by providing a substandard level of care, but proving that negligent care was the actual cause of harm in any given case can be very difficult. In a lawsuit in Florida, the burden is on the patient to show that the provider deviated from the standard for care. Doing this requires analysis from medical experts who have detailed information about the care provided.
Once it’s been established that care was provided below an acceptable standard, it’s then necessary to provide that it was that substandard care that caused the harm to the patient. In the case of surgery, this can be difficult because there is a wide range of accepted factors that cause harm that are considered to be a reasonable risk. Therefore, determining whether harm was caused by ordinary risks of surgery or negligence is challenging.
Another area where its difficult to determine causality is in misdiagnosis. A doctor doesn’t cause cancer, but whether or not their delay in finding cancer worsened the patient’s prognosis isn’t always certain. The patient needs to prove that another doctor would have spotted the illness sooner, leading to improved outcomes. Since not all treatments have equal outcomes even when with a timely diagnosis, determining malpractice only become more confusing.
Since medical malpractice cases are so complicated, victims may benefit from legal representation. A lawyer might help their client find out whether or not it’s worth the time and effort to pursue legal action. To address financial burdens for the client, many attorneys will take on malpractice cases without requiring an upfront fee if they feel a lawsuit is worth pursuing.