Zweig Law, PC Attorneys at Law

Proving causation: an obstacle in many malpractice cases

Medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult personal injury cases to pursue in Colorado and elsewhere around the country. Two things must be proven for such a case to be valid, the first being the fact that the doctor, nurse or other medical professional failed to provide an established standard of care. While this can be easily done, the second step, that of linking the negligence to the injury, can be challenging.

For example, those who are about to undergo a surgical procedure are told beforehand that there can be side effects and complications. If they develop complications after surgery, then they will need to show that a surgical error or another mistake was to blame. Otherwise, they cannot be compensated for injuries that can arise even when there is no negligence.

Orthopedic injuries like fractures come with a similar risk. Not all of them heal properly even when the doctors follow an accepted standard of care. Only in cases where a doctor was clearly negligent, such as in failing to align the bone or consider surgery when the injury would have called for it, can victims be successful.

Delayed cancer diagnoses pose a problem, too, for those who wish to file a claim. Cancer has a high mortality rate and requires extensive treatment.

Those who believe they have a strong case may wish to have it evaluated by a lawyer. Most attorneys who specialize in personal injury have a network of professionals who can help build up cases. Investigators may obtain proof of negligence, and medical experts may measure the extent of injuries and their related costs. Expert witnesses may come in to offer testimony. A lawyer may start by striving for a settlement out of court, litigating only when negotiations fail.

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