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4 steps of proving medical malpractice

Hospitals and doctors' offices in Pittsburgh are supposed to be safe places. When you go to the doctor with a health problem, you rightfully expect accurate diagnoses and effective treatment. The last thing you expect is to be further hurt after a visit.

Unfortunately, not all health care professionals live up to the standard of care they are supposed to - and sometimes people get hurt because of it. If you suffered medical complications, an injury or illness after seeking medical care, you may be wondering if it counts as malpractice.

The anatomy of a malpractice claim

In order to be deemed medical malpractice, all four of the following elements must be proven:

  1. A duty of care existed between you and the medical professional. This is typically the easiest element to prove in a malpractice case. It is assumed and implied that doctors and other care providers have a legal duty of care for every patient they provide services to.
  2. There was a breach in the duty of care. This means that the doctor, nurse or other provider failed to uphold accepted medical standards when caring for you. In order to prove this, you must define what the standard of care is. Often, witnesses will be asked to testify that the breach occurred. Other times, the error is so obvious that witnesses are not needed.
  3. The breach of professional duty caused your injury. It is not enough to just prove that the doctor committed an error when treating you. In order to prove that malpractice occurred, you must show that the doctor's error caused your injury or illness.
  4. Your injury led to serious damages. The final part of proving medical malpractice is showing that your injury resulted in damages. Damages is a legal term that can refer to numerous things, including past and future medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, permanent disability as a result of your injury, and pain and suffering.

Proving that medical malpractice occurred is not always easy to do - especially when you are going up against large hospitals with large legal teams. Having your own attorney on your side can help.

Your attorney will serve as your advocate throughout the process of seeking compensation through a medical malpractice claim. They can conduct a thorough investigation of your situation, guide you through the process of filing a claim, and ensure your rights are protected along the way. 

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D'Amico Law Offices, L.L.C.
310 Grant Street
Grant Building
Suite 825
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-906-8180
Fax: 412-904-2245
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