You already probably know that if someone on your Massachusetts health care team performs his or her professional duties in such a negligent manner as to cause you injury or illness, you can sue that person, plus the organization for which (s)he works, for medical malpractice. But did you know that you must prove certain things at trial by a preponderance of the evidence in order to prevail in your lawsuit?

Unfortunately, medical errors represent a far too common problem in America. In fact, the problem has become so widespread that preventable medical errors now rank as the number three cause of deaths. Still, as FindLaw explains, medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complicated and difficult cases for a judge and jury to hear. Why? Because of the lack of medical knowledge on the part of laymen.

Required proof

You and your attorney likely will need to do extensive work before trial to make sure you can prove the following five things:

  1. That the defendant(s) owed a duty of care to you
  2. That they breached their duty
  3. That because of that breach you suffered injury or illness
  4. That the breach was the proximate cause of your injury or illness
  5. That your injury or illness resulted in your suffering both personal and financial damage for which you can be financially compensated

Expert witnesses

You and your attorney likely will need to devote a large part of your trial to making the judge and jury understand exactly what type of medical malpractice the defendant(s) committed and how they failed to live up to their respective standards of care. Keep in mind that each type of health care professional practices under a different care standard. Consequently, each expert witness you and your attorney engage to present your case in court must possess the same title, education and background as the defendant about whom you intend to have him or her testify.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.