While many people use the term “negligence” loosely, it is a concept that has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt before a patient can hold a doctor or a hospital responsible for any damage that they suffered. A person can be found negligent when it is deemed that their carelessness resulted in the harm of another.
Simply suffering side effects or even a freak accident may not be enough to win a negligence case. In fact, there are four aspects that have to be proven in order for a person to win a case where they’re claiming that hospital negligence has resulted in pain or suffering.
The first element of a negligence claim is duty, which states that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. Following the establishment of duty, a court will decide if the defendant did something to breach that duty. To determine this breach of duty, a judge will determine if the defendant did something, or failed to do something, that a “reasonably prudent person” would do in the same circumstances. If a patient is pursuing a hospital negligence case, the judge would review what a doctor in the same field would do if he or she was “reasonably prudent,” including examples of surgical errors.
Causation, or the fact that the defendant’s negligence caused an injury, would be the third standard for a potential case. An evaluation of the damages will finalize the decision as to whether a patient has a negligence claim.
To determine whether a patient has enough of these factors to pursue a medical malpractice suit, they may want to contact an attorney who is familiar with the process. This attorney may review the claim and work to help a client recover any damages that have been caused by the negligence of the hospital.