Why is proving causation so crucial for medical malpractice claims?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Personal Injury |

Medical malpractice or medical negligence is defined as medical care that causes harm to a patient. A New Jersey plaintiff in such a lawsuit has to show that the medical facility or practitioner provided poor care and that it led to harm.

Proving the medical provider’s treatment was below the standard of care is the easiest question to answer. Causation is the second part and is much harder to prove.

Proving medical malpractice

The standard of care for medical malpractice lawsuits require other medical experts to examine the details of the claim. Medical experts can see if the medical care was on par with the requisite standard of care. The standard of care depends on the resources available and the seriousness of the issue. The experts then check the provider’s care against the standards of care. Once the experts determine whether the provider’s care was below the standard, the next question is causation. A patient needs to prove the provider’s care was factually a cause of their harm with a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

Situations with medical malpractice

All surgeries can produce complications. The patient accepts the risks of surgery before the procedure begins. It’s hard to prove a surgeon’s neglect caused a negative outcome from the surgery. Along the same lines, it’s hard to prove a doctor caused cancer. A delay in a cancer diagnosis can be deadly, but most cancers need in-depth and extended medical treatments. In court, the patient would need to prove their condition worsened after prognosis and treatment.

Orthopedic injuries are complex as well. Sometimes fractures don’t heal properly and give patients issues or limitations. Situations like this can happen even if the doctor does everything correctly for the patient. The medical malpractice lawsuit could involve an unset bone, refusing surgery or refusing hardware. Proving the causation of an injury in court is hard.

Medical malpractice is complex and requires understanding the risks of the provider’s care. A court requires the patient to prove medical malpractice. Other experts can help a patient confirm a low quality of care, but causation is harder to prove.