To prove fault in a medical malpractice claim, your attorney must prove that the physician’s actions failed to meet the standard of care expected by physicians in the same type of practice and situation. Establishing this standard of care traditionally means consulting with other physicians and having them testify as to how they would have acted in a similar case.
A medical professional then must assess if his or her colleague acted with the proper level of care and concern for the patient. However, expert testimony is questionable in any type of case. There are instances when physicians may exaggerate their expected standards of care, while in other cases physicians will not admit to negligence out of fear that claims could arise in their own practice.
One fear of having a medical professional testify against another is that he or she may side with the physician, rather than the injured patient. This is because physicians may protect one another, for fear that other physicians would testify against them in a malpractice claim later.
Also, it is not uncommon for some physicians to fabricate answers to protect a fellow colleague, especially one whom they know or work alongside. When a physician sides with another physician, it may sway the jury to believe that the physician was not negligent, and possibly cause the plaintiff to lose the case.
Despite the fact that there are rare instances when physicians lie to protect other physicians, most are there to help plaintiffs. Physicians take an oath when they receive their medical license, which includes doing no harm. Therefore, if another professional has harmed a patient, a physician should be able to call that physician’s negligence out, and the responsible party should be accountable for their actions.
The most critical piece of evidence in a malpractice case is the doctor’s duty of care. An attorney must first establish that the physician owed the patient a duty of care, then show that his or her actions breached that expected duty of care.
Even if one physician defends the actions of a colleague, a good medical malpractice attorney can call additional witnesses or show evidence to dispute the testimony. They can also bring evidence in front of the court that shows the potential conflict of interest the physician may have.
Medical malpractice claims are extremely complex; therefore, patients who are injured by a negligent physician should contact a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can assess the case, but also gather evidence which establishes the physician’s duty of care and the breach to the patient.
For those injured by a physician, it is imperative that they contact a malpractice attorney in Connecticut as soon as possible.