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Causation and Medical Malpractice Claims

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It is always difficult when you or a loved one is hurt by medical malpractice. Unfortunately, in addition to losing your health, your remedies are limited by legislation that was passed in 2003.

Medical malpractice is brought forward under a legal theory called negligence. To win on a negligence claim, four things must be proven: duty, breach, causation and damages. First, the patient must prove that the health care provider owed him or her a duty; that is, for example, a duty to make the right diagnosis, prescribe the right drugs, or perform the right surgery. If that duty is breached, the patient must show that breach caused him or her damages.

Patients have to show that the health care provider caused their damages, which means they have to show there would be a 51% or greater chance of a different outcome had the negligence not occurred. This means the malpractice cannot merely contribute to a patient's damages, but, to a 51% or greater chance, actually have caused them.

This standard requires a thorough exploration of not only the medical records from the offending surgery, misdiagnosis or alleged breach, but may also require review of past medical records to have a full understanding of a patient's health history. Medical treatment incurred after the alleged malpractice may also need to be reviewed to put together the alleged damages.

Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or 1-800-594-4884.

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