What is the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case?

by | Sep 30, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

When you file a lawsuit against a medical professional for negligence, you have the burden to prove your claims. This requirement hinges on the basis of the American legal system that says someone is innocent of any wrongdoing until someone else can prove that person guilty.

When it comes to the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case, a jury will receive specific instructions to ensure that you show evidence to prove three distinct points.


The jury must find that you suffered some type of injury or loss as a result of the situation at hand. You will need to show how this impacted you and what changed in your life because this happened to you.

Direct result

You also must show the jury that whatever injury you suffered was directly caused by the physician’s actions. He or she must have had control over the situation and made decisions that led to your damages.

Standard of care

Finally, you need to prove to the jury that the physician did not follow normal protocols. And if he or she would have followed the normal course that any other average doctor would have done that you would not have suffered damages. Basically, you have to show what your doctor did wrong and prove that another doctor would have done it in a different way that is aligned with the general treatment or diagnosis standards in the industry.

If you can prove all three points, then you met the burden of proof. If you cannot prove even one of these, then you cannot win your case.

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