If you or a loved one suffered injury – or even death – due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may want to take legal action to get compensation. However, taking the doctor or hospital to court may not always be the best way to achieve the outcome you’re after.
In this post, we discuss why medical malpractice lawsuits can be especially difficult for plaintiffs to win – and why mediation may be a better option.
What do you need to prove?
Medical malpractice lawsuits tend to favor the defendant, and they can be challenging for plaintiffs to win in court. One of the reasons for this is that plaintiffs have the onus of presenting a high burden of proof in such lawsuits. They must prove to a jury both of the following:
- The doctor violated an applicable standard of care.
- The doctor caused the injury or death in question.
In establishing the above burden of proof, expert medical testimony is often used in court. Such testimony can give the advantage to the defendant for two reasons:
- Defendants who are medical professionals themselves tend to have an easier time finding convincing medical experts to testify on their behalf.
- Technical and/or scientific medical testimony is often difficult for a jury of laypeople to understand.
For the reasons listed above, litigation is sometimes not an effective way for a plaintiff to obtain justice for medical malpractice. With mediation, on the other hand, there is no such burden of proof requirement, and there is no jury. Consequently, mediation is becoming an increasingly popular way of resolving disputes in medical malpractice cases.
Understanding what’s right for you
As with any legal dispute, the best course of action will depend on the specifics of your case. Consulting with an attorney with a proven track record in both medical malpractice litigation and mediation can help you determine the best option for you.