get started today

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

To protect you from COVID-19, we are offering a quick & easy remote intake process. Click here to learn more.




call for a free consultation

How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?

Posted in Medical Malpractice on April 27, 2022

Medical malpractice refers to the failure of a health care professional to provide proper medical care to a patient, resulting in harm to the patient. In West Virginia, you can file a medical malpractice claim to seek financial damages from a negligent medical practitioner for causing your injuries or a loved one’s death. It is up to you as the filing party, however, to prove your claim.

What Are Common Examples of Medical Malpractice?

There are many different examples of medical malpractice. Any act or omission committed by someone in the health care field that a reasonably prudent medical provider would not have done under similar circumstances can constitute malpractice. Common examples include:

  • Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a condition
  • Failing to treat a patient
  • Discharging a patient too soon
  • Misinterpreting laboratory results
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
  • Making a surgical or anesthesia error
  • Failing to follow up with a patient
  • Making mistakes that result in birth injuries

Although not every negative health outcome gives a patient the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in West Virginia, if the doctor should have done something differently to prevent the injury or illness, he or she could be held responsible through a civil lawsuit.

What Are the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim?

To file a medical malpractice claim in West Virginia, you must have all of the necessary elements of this civil tort. These are:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship.
  • A professional standard of care owed by the defendant.
  • A breach or violation of the medical standard of care.
  • Causation for the patient’s injury.
  • Damages suffered by the patient.

In general, there must be proof that your physician or health care provider did something or failed to do something that a prudent professional would have, resulting in your injury or illness.

What Is the Burden of Proof in a Medical Malpractice Claim?

The burden of proof in a medical malpractice claim means the amount of evidence that is necessary for the plaintiff (filing party) to present to hold the defendant civilly liable for injuries suffered. In all personal injury cases in West Virginia, including a medical malpractice lawsuit, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. This means enough evidence to establish that the defendant is more likely to be guilty of medical malpractice and responsible for the damages claimed than not.

Evidence to Support a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

To meet the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case in West Virginia, you need clear and convincing evidence. You must have sufficient evidence to show that the defendant committed the tort that you are claiming occurred. The evidence available in a medical malpractice lawsuit may include:

  • Medical records
  • Lab reports
  • Treatment or discharge papers
  • Notes made by the medical provider
  • Prescription records
  • Conversations with the defendant
  • The doctor’s history of other violations
  • Injury or pain journal
  • Eyewitness statements and accounts
  • A medical expert in the same or similar field as the defendant

Testimony from a medical expert can be important during a medical malpractice claim, as the expert can comment on what the standard of care was and how the defendant fell short. If you need assistance hiring an expert or accessing your medical records to serve as evidence during a medical malpractice lawsuit, entrust your case to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in West Virginia.

How a Lawyer in West Virginia Can Help

A lawyer from Manchin Injury Law Group has the resources, experience and staff to help you build the strongest possible medical malpractice claim. Our attorneys have years of experience in medical malpractice law to put toward litigating your case. As your legal representatives, we will immediately go to work on preserving and collecting key evidence to support your case. We know how to prove medical malpractice in West Virginia. Start with a free consultation by calling (304) 367-1862.