When you go see your doctor or dentist or enter an Ohio hospital, you expect your doctor, dentist and all the other health care professionals to take good care of you and have the education, knowledge and skills necessary to get you well and back to your life. The last thing you expect is that you will be sicker or more injured after receiving care from such professionals.

Unfortunately, however, preventable medical errors have become the third leading cause of death in the United States. As you probably already know, if you suffer injury or increased illness after being treated by a physician or other health care professional, you have the right to sue that person and/or the hospital where (s)he works for medical malpractice and recover money damages if you prevail.

Proving your case

As FindLaw explains, in order to win your medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove the following four things by clear and convincing evidence:

  1. That the physician, dentist, other health care professional and/or hospital owed you a duty of care
  2. That (s)he gave you substandard care, thereby breaching his or her duty
  3. That because of this breach, you suffered injury
  4. That his or her breach proximately caused your injury

Applicable standards of care

As you might expect, different physicians, health care providers and health care personnel have different standards of care to which they must adhere. For instance, a surgeon’s standard of care is quite different from that of a nurse, a dentist, a physical therapist, etc. Therefore the defendant(s) in your medical malpractice civil suit must have breached their own specific standard(s) of care in order for you to prevail. In addition, the expert witness(es) you use to prove breach of care must be professionals who operate under the same standard(s) of care as the respective defendants.

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