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How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice in California?

Alarmingly, medical negligence is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A 2016 study cited by The Washington Post found that only cancer and heart problems are to blame for more deaths than medical errors. If you or your family member suffered any type of injury or health complication as the result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are especially complex legal cases. In addition, medical professionals, hospitals, and insurance companies are often aggressive in defending these claims. Victims must be able to present a strong case. Here, our San Francisco medical malpractice lawyers highlight the most important things that patients need to know about proving medical malpractice in California.

Understanding the Standard for Medical Malpractice

In California, patients can hold medical professionals and healthcare providers legally liable for injuries or deaths that were caused by, at least in part, a negligent act. The four required legal elements of a medical malpractice claim are as follows:

  1. A valid doctor-patient relationship existed;
  2. A medical professional violated the standard of care;
  3. The violation of that standard resulted in harm to the patient; and
  4. The patient suffered real, compensable damages.

To be clear, a patient cannot hold a medical provider legally liable for malpractice simply because they had poor results or because something went “wrong” in the course of their treatment. In a medical malpractice claim, a patient must be able to prove that their doctor or medical provider offered them treatment that was worse in quality than an ordinary doctor/provider would have offered under similar conditions.

Evidence Matters: Patients Must Present a Strong Legal Claim

Modern medicine is incredibly complex. As a result, it can often be difficult for injured patients to know whether or not they were actually the victims of malpractice at all. For this reason, it is imperative that patients who have suffered complications after receiving medical care get a consultation with an experienced California medical malpractice lawyer. A lawyer will be able to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the case in order to determine what action needs to be taken. In building a successful medical malpractice claim, evidence matters. Relevant evidence comes in a number of different forms, including:

  • Medical records;
  • Patient depositions;
  • Witness testimony; and
  • Expert testimony.

Notably, in most medical malpractice cases, expert medical testimony is critically important. If you were the victim of medical negligence, your lawyer will be able to connect you with the right experts who can support your malpractice claim.

Get Help from Our San Francisco Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our top-rated California medical malpractice lawyers are strong advocates for patients. If you or your loved one suffered an injury or complications due to medical negligence, we will help you maximize your financial recovery.

For a free, no obligation consultation, please call us today at (415) 835-6777. With an office in San Francisco, we represent medical malpractice victims throughout the Bay Area, including in Oakland, Alameda, and San Jose.

Medical Malpractice