Medical Malpractice: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

If you’re thinking, “Huh?” you’re not alone. Few people know about this approach to medical malpractice lawsuits. Res ipsa loquitur is Latin for “the thing speaks for itself,” and it’s an approach to proving medical malpractice that, despite its erudite name, is very commonsense.

The normal approach for proving medical malpractice is to show that there was an act or failure to act by the doctor that was inconsistent with the best practices in the medical community, and that act or omission led to your injury. This can be hard to prove when the doctor and others in the room at the time of your procedure are less than forthcoming about what happened.

We can, however, make a res ipsa loquitur argument, which shows: your injury doesn’t normally happen without negligence and your doctor or other medical practitioner was in control of the instrumentalities responsible for your injury. Your doctor or medical practitioner is likely the only one with sufficient knowledge to tell whether negligence is or is not responsible for your injury.

In response, the medical practitioner must then prove that they were not negligent. Essentially, we have reversed the burden of proof, forcing your doctor to give the clearest account possible of what happened to cause your injury.

Res ipsa loquitur is a powerful tool in some types of medical malpractice case, but not all cases can be handled this way.

To learn whether your medical malpractice lawsuit may be likely to succeed using this or another tactic, please contact The Cochran Firm South Florida for a free case evaluation.