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The burden of proof lies on you in a malpractice case

In any legal case, it's important to know where the burden of proof lies. For medical malpractice cases, if you're starting the case, it's on you. Four different things have to be satisfied for you to win the case, and these are:

1. Duty that is owed to you by the medical professional.2. A breach of that duty while providing care.3. Damages that were incurred.4. Causation linking these damages.

When any one of these things can't be proven in court, the case will not win.

To make it simple, consider this example. If a medical professional did not make any notable mistakes, but you just didn't like the outcome of the treatment, you can't usually sue. Some treatments come with notable risks. Yes, the medical staff has a duty to treat you, and there are damages brought about by the treatment, but there is no negligence or willful failure to provide adequate care.

Often, those mistakes are the key. Duty of care is usually easy to show for most procedures. Damages can be easy to track, and they may clearly link back to what happened to you. There can be some issues here—the doctors could argue that your injuries didn't happen during the procedure, for example—but the biggest hinge point for the case is often simply showing if the doctor breached his or her duty of care to you. If so, the doctor or nurse is then responsible for everything that happened as a result of this breach.

Make sure you understand the legal process surrounding medical malpractice cases in Illinois.

Source: Nurse Together, The 4 Elements of Medical Malpractice in Nursing, Katie Morales, accessed Jan. 26, 2016

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