In Connecticut, proving a case of medical malpractice requires that the plaintiff prove that the doctor or medical professional deviated from accepted medical standards of care and that the deviation caused harm. The standard for proving such a claim is high. Not all bad medical outcomes constitute medical malpractice and sometimes even if a physician’s treatment deviates from good and accepted practices, that deviation may not result in a negative outcome or lawsuit.
Assessing the Claim
An attorney will not rush to file a medical malpractice claim. Instead, they will review their client’s case to avoid any errors as well as correctly identify the claim. Most attorneys have developed a process over the years that helps them better assess potential cases. If they choose to pursue such claim, they will ensure they are prepared enough to prosecute a strong case. Part of doing that is understanding what happened from the victim’s point of view and how the medical error impacted their life.
Reviewing Medical Records
To prove a physician’s deviation resulted in the direct harm of a patient, an attorney will need to collect all relevant medical records. Because some providers will outright refuse to release their medical records, this process could take several weeks to complete. Once retrieved, the attorney will consult with nurses and medical physicians to review the claim and compare medical records. They will look at the steps taken in the care process, any procedures or diagnostic tests ordered and their respective outcomes.
Medical records are revealing in these types of cases and can often be all that is required to determine if medical malpractice did in fact occur. Even if a nurse or physician falsifies the medical records in an attempt to cover up their harm, these falsified records are often easily spotted with a careful assessment of the records.
Gaining Medical Opinions
To prove a physician deviated from accepted medical practices, an attorney must consult other medical professionals in a similar field to determine how they would have acted differently. This process is more than handing records to another physician for review. Instead it requires a threefold process:
- Consulting a physician to review medical records for a verbal opinion.
- Identifying and reviewing published medical standards that could apply to the particular case – such as reviewing the American Academy of Pediatrics’ published standards that doctors must follow when treating a particular condition.
- Conducting a case review to see if similar cases (whether lawsuit or not) have occurred in the medical field.
Proving the Variation in Court
Even after a medical professional has stated there was a deviation, this variation must be presented to the courts. This often entails:
- Presenting expert testimony showing that the physician deviated from good and accepted practices, which led to the patient’s injury.
- Presenting medical records into evidence.
- Presenting photographs and other presentations that help further prove what is “accepted” and what is not.
- Cross-examining the physician regarding their deviation.
Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.