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How Lawyers Prove Medical Malpractice
December 21, 2020

Is Medical Malpractice Difficult to Prove?

Medical malpractice can be very difficult to prove. Some of the challenges an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you overcome include:

Hiring Expert Witnesses

In medical malpractice claims, testimony from a qualified expert is essential for proving (a). what the standard of care is and (b). how the provider in your case violated the standard. The Courts and Civil Procedure rules in Rhode Island define who qualifies as an expert witness in malpractice cases.

In cases involving medical specialists, it is crucial to work with a law firm that has experience handling complex medical malpractice claims and has access to qualified experts who can testify on your behalf.

The Complexity of Medical Records

Medical records document all aspects of your health. They are written so healthcare practitioners can access key information about your medical history and determine how to proceed based on your current condition.

Due to their complexity, patients often struggle to gather meaningful information from medical records. Even if the records document an error on the part of a doctor or other provider, most people are unlikely to recognize such an important fact.

Further complicating matters is the variety of different health and medical records. Nowadays, most health information is logged electronically. Although this should make accessing crucial information easier, it does not simplify the process of requesting records from providers.

  • Electronic medical records (EMRs): EMRs documents the care you have received from a particular practitioner and/or facility. 
  • Electronic health records (EHRs): EHRs are more comprehensive than EMRs. In effect, the EHR is the digital equivalent of your patient chart. It is accessible by multiple practitioners in multiple facilities, enabling providers to take into account your overall medical history when making care decisions.
  • Personal health records (PHRs): A PHR contains some of the same information as the records above, with the key difference being that patients can access and manage these records themselves. They are generally accessible through a web-based portal maintained by the patient.

An experienced lawyer can advise you what records will be needed for your medical malpractice claim. Generally, your attorney can request copies of medical records on your behalf, as well as advance the costs typically charged by providers.

Medical experts are crucial for building a medical malpractice claim. Your attorney will hire one or more expert witnesses to review your medical records and provide testimony on instances of negligence.

Calculating the Damages in Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical negligence can result in catastrophic injuries. You and your family may be entitled to significant compensation for the losses suffered as a result of a serious medical injury, but accurately calculating damages may be overwhelming when you are trying to rebuild your lives.

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will review the evidence and consult experts to determine (a). the nature and extent of your losses and (b). the monetary value of the damages in your case. You and your loved ones may be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Additional and ongoing medical expenses related to the injury or condition
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for assistive devices (e.g., a cane or walker, a wheelchair, a prosthetic limb, etc.), home and vehicle modifications, and travel for medical care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Any instance of medical malpractice can result in long-term effects. However, cases of birth injury may result in hardship for the entirety of a person’s life. Accurately calculating damages in a birth injury claim is especially challenging because your attorney and the experts he or she hires must carefully evaluate the evidence and advocate for a result that fairly compensates you, your child, and your family for both your immediate losses and the losses you will experience in the future.

Similarly, calculating damages in medical malpractice claims involving wrongful death is also complicated. Your lawyer must determine how much your family is entitled to and pursue a settlement or trial result that covers losses you and your loved one face now as well as in the coming years.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Experience is key for mounting an effective medical malpractice claim. No law firm in Rhode Island has the depth of experience and history of success handling medical malpractice cases than Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd.

Our attorneys have achieved more million-dollar and multi-million-dollar settlements and trial results on behalf of clients than any other law firm in the state. We have also forged relationships with medical experts in a wide variety of fields and specialties, enabling our team to go further in building your case.

Please call Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd at (401) 273-8330 today for a free consultation. Our medical malpractice lawyers serve clients in Providence and throughout Rhode Island.