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How does an injured patient show the doctor made a mistake?

Every Baltimore resident makes mistakes from time to time, as nobody is perfect. Most times, these mistakes are relatively minor and easy to correct, so the person can simply learn from the mistake and try not to repeat it in the future. In other circumstances, however, a person's mistakes can result in serious harm to others, such as with a case of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice claims come in all shapes and sizes. Contrary to some people's belief, even the best of doctors can make a serious error that results in injury to patients.

When these incidents occur, the injured patient not only must deal with harm that has resulted from the doctor error, he or she must also prove the error took place in a later personal injury lawsuit. This can be a difficult task, as many cases of medical malpractice involve complicated medical issues that the average person has no knowledge about, including the jury who is deciding the case.

In order to prove a medical error, the injured person typically presents testimony from expert witnesses who have knowledge about the incident. For instance, if the error took place during heart surgery, expert testimony would often be presented from another heart surgeon. The heart surgeon can explain to the jury his or her expertise, and how an ordinary heart surgery is supposed to take place. The heart surgeon can also explain how the doctor in the case was negligent, and how that negligence caused the plaintiff's injuries.

The same is true of other specialists, who can explain how a doctor in any given specialty made an error. Accordingly, expert testimony is essential in proving a medical malpractice claim, as it will show how the doctor failed to follow the standard medical practice when treating the patient.

Source: American Bar Association, "Personal injury," accessed on May 8, 2015

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