Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim – Injury or Loss

As discussed in our previous posts about the duty of care and standard of care, to win your medical malpractice claim, you need to prove:

  • That the doctor, dentist or health care provider owed you a duty of care;
  • The services or treatment provided fell below the applicable standard of care;
  • You suffered a compensable injury or loss; and
  • That injury was caused by the defendant’s actions.

In this third installment of our series about the elements of a professional negligence claim against health care providers, we will look at the penultimate element, loss or injury.

What does it mean to suffer a compensable injury?

Plaintiffs that have been the victims of medical or dental malpractice may recover for their pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses.

Discussed in detail in an earlier post, non-pecuniary or “general” damages are intended to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering they have experienced, as well as any other intangible losses that cannot be quantified. These are assessed based on the victim’s age, injuries, ongoing disability and suffering, impairment of life, family or social relationships, and impairment of physical and mental capacity.

Pecuniary losses include past and future lost income, health care expenses, medication, attendant care, housekeeping, child care, and any other expenses that you incurred, or will be forced to incur, as a result of your injury.

How to prove injury or loss in a medical negligence claim

The type and severity of each injury or loss should be detailed as much as possible in the course of your claim through evidence.

Typically, non-pecuniary damages will be proven through witness testimony, including the plaintiff and their treating physicians. Expert evidence from medical professionals is also necessary to demonstrate the extent and severity of your injury. Your medical records will also be reviewed to inform the assessment of general damages.

Pecuniary losses should be supported by documentation wherever possible, including invoices, receipts, pay stubs, tax returns and relevant business records.

Personal injury lawyers for professional negligence claims against doctors, dentists and health care professionals

At Derfel Injury Law, we represent claimants that have suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of  their health care provider. These claims are very complicated, and require well prepared expert evidence as well as careful strategy and planning throughout the claim. Our personal injury lawyers have experience handling claims against doctors, dentists, cosmetic surgeons and other professionals, and can help you make the best decisions about your potential claim.

To  discuss a potential claim with a member of our team, make an appointment by contacting us online or call 416-847-3580.