Victims of Florida medical malpractice are hit with a double whammy. Not only do they have to suffer from a medical professional’s negligent care, but they also have the burden of proving they were harmed. They trusted a healthcare expert but suffered more due to a medical mishap. Regardless of the circumstances, patients who’ve been harmed have the legal right to seek compensation for their damages.
Sunshine State residents that feel they’ve been victimized and didn’t receive the standard of care they deserve should speak to a team of Miami medical malpractice lawyers who can assist them with seeking justice.
What Is a Preponderance of Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases?
When most of us think about lawsuits, trials, and legal evidence, the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” probably comes to mind. Fortunately, proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is only for criminal cases and some civil cases, but it has nothing to do with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A preponderance of evidence in medical malpractice cases means that the plaintiff must prove that malpractice more than reasonably occurred. Your lawyer will only have to prove that there was a 50.1% chance that a breach of the expected standard of care harmed you.
While a preponderance of evidence may seem much easier to prove than beyond all reasonable doubt, your lawyer will still face many hurdles to prove that medical malpractice did occur. Your lawyer will not only have the burden of proving that your doctor acted negligently, but they’ll also need to prove that you were severely harmed due to their negligence.
How To Prove Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Regardless of how cut and dry your case may seem, you’ll still have to provide evidence of both negligence and causation. This is best done under the careful guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Although the gathering of evidence may at first seem incredibly simple, it is, in fact, quite a time-consuming process. As with all lawsuits, the strength of your case will depend upon the strength of your evidence.
You’ll need to collect several different types of evidence to win your case or be offered a pre-trial settlement. To prove medical malpractice that caused you physical and perhaps even financial harm, your lawyer can help guide you through the necessary documents required as evidence. Here’s a look at the most common types of evidence to help you prove your claims.
Providing copies of your medical records can help prove both negligence and proof of injuries, along with establishing that you have a doctor/patient relationship. Your medical records could prove to be extensive and detailed and can include:
- Emergency room intake and discharge documents
- Doctor or healthcare expert’s notes on your condition
- X-rays, CAT scans, and MRI images
- Surgery notes
- Prescribed medications list
Copies of all itemized medical bills and copayments can provide proof of care and show additional expenses you’ve been subjected to. Some common medical bills and financial hardships can include:
- Medical bills for doctor visits, lab tests, and rehabilitation services
- Commuting expenses to medical appointments such as public transportation, taxis, parking, and tolls
- Receipts for any over-the-counter medications or medical devices
- Receipts for any mental health services required to help you cope with the medical mistake
Affidavit of Merit
Part of the evidence you’ll need to provide to file a medical malpractice case is a sworn statement by a medical expert with similar training to your doctor. This expert testimony will provide an educated and respected opinion that a negligent healthcare worker harmed you and didn’t receive the expected standard of care. Your lawyer must locate a medical expert whose opinion cannot be refuted.
To claim financial damages due to medical malpractice, providing pay stubs can establish what your average earnings were before your condition worsened. Also beneficial to your claim is an official statement from your employer that documents all the time missed from work related to your medical injury or worsening of your condition.
Preponderance of Evidence in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Explained
Fortunately, medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida do not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. However, despite only needing to prove that medical negligence caused the patient unnecessary harm, doing so still takes some work. Medical malpractice cases should never be attempted without the help and guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through obtaining the necessary evidence to prove your claims.