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Understanding a Medical Malpractice Trial

A medical malpractice lawsuit can be an important tool in identifying problems within the American medical system. In order to prepare for a malpractice suit, it may be helpful to understand the process of a medical malpractice trial.

As is true in all tort cases, the plaintiff must file a lawsuit in a court that has the appropriate jurisdiction for their claim. Before the case goes to trial, the parties (or the attorneys representing the parties) will share information, with the possibility of reaching a settlement. Should a settlement be agreed upon by both parties, the case will not go to trial.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will then move to trial. The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case, meaning that they must supply enough evidence to prove that malpractice has taken place on the part of their health care provider. Both parties in these cases will bring forward experts to testify as to the standard of care given to the plaintiff. A judge or jury will then evaluate the evidence and decide which side provided the most credible evidence.

Damages awarded to a successful plaintiff can include both compensatory and punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded if judge or jury deems that wanton and reckless conduct has taken place. Examples of compensatory damage may include:

  • Financial losses, such as lost wages
  • Medical expenses and life care expenses
  • Non-economic damages such as loss of vision, severe pain, or emotional distress.

If you feel that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the Stevens Point medical malpractice lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 800-248-0171 to discuss your legal rights and options.