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What to know about stages of medical malpractice trials

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2020 | Civil Litigation |

Medical malpractice in Ohio happens when a doctor or health care provider does not provide patients with the highest standard of care, leading to them causing harm. Patients who have been injured by malpractice have the right to bring a claim against the doctor or health care provider. Medical malpractice cases go through several stages and involve proving certain factors.

Proving malpractice

To prove a malpractice claim, there has to be an established doctor-patient relationship. The plaintiff must have gotten injured, and the doctor’s negligence must have caused or contributed to the harm. The case must also prove that the doctor breached the standard of care owed the plaintiff.

Stages of malpractice cases

The case starts with investigation. The injured patient’s attorney will review all medical files including visiting nurse records and hospital records. They may make contact with experts in the medical field, such as teaching hospital professors or heads of surgery.

After the attorney reviews records, they file a claim with the court to hold a tribunal, which is composed of a judge, doctor and lawyer. The attending doctor usually has to be part of the same field as the doctor charged. The tribunal decides if enough evidence exists to hold a trial.

During the discovery phase, the defendant lawyer holds a deposition to question parties. The parties have a right to request documents from one another.

The plaintiff may be offered a settlement, and if the liable party refuses or does not offer a fair amount, the case goes to trial. At the trial, each party gives their side of the story, and the experts give evidence that may be relevant to the case. If the jury finds that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury, the patient may be awarded compensation.

Doctors take an oath to provide the highest level of care to patients. If they breach that contract, the patient has the right to bring a civil lawsuit against them.


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