When you go to your doctor’s appointment or check into a Maryland or Washington, D.C. hospital, you expect your physician and all the other professionals on your health care team to competently treat you. You do not expect anyone to give you substandard care that results in your receiving an injury or becoming more ill than you were in the first place.

Unfortunately, however, not all health care professionals live up to the standards of care required of them. In fact, preventable medical errors rank as the third leading cause of U.S. deaths today. Not surprisingly, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits has skyrocketed in recent years.

Necessary proof

FindLaw explains that if you choose to sue your doctor, nurse and/or health care facility for medical malpractice, you will need to present clear and convincing evidence at trial to prove the following:

  • That the professional(s) and/or facility owed you a duty of care
  • That (s)he and/or it and/or they breached that duty
  • That you became injured or ill due to that breach
  • That the breach represents the proximate cause of your illness or injury
  • That you suffered compensable financial and personal damages due to that breach

Care standards

Bear in mind that care standards vary from professional to professional. For example, your primary care physician practices medicine under a different standard of care than does your cardiologist, surgeon, nurse, x-ray technician, etc. Therefore, when you and you attorney seek out the expert witnesses you need to testify for you in court, each of them must practice medicine under the same care standard as one of the defendants.

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