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Establishing “causation” is a major aspect of medical negligence claims

causation in medical negligence claims

The issue of causation in medical negligence claims is often the major challenge.

Aside from the primary focus for an injured or ill person to recover their health, another primary concern of most patients that suffer injury, loss and damage as a result of medical negligence is the fact that the medical care provided was not to an acceptable standard.  One aspect of proving a medical negligence claim is of course answering the question whether the doctor and/or hospital concerned failed to comply with what is accepted competent, professional practice.

However, it must be remembered that the other aspect of proving medical negligence is to establish at law that the breach of the appropriate duty of care to the patient actually caused an injury.  In other words that the damage alleged by the patient has been caused by the breach of duty of care. Proving this aspect of the claim is called “establishing causation”.

If the injury, loss or damage would have happened regardless of the breach of the duty of care, then no compensation can be claimed.  It is necessary for the patient to show that it was more probable than not that the breach of the duty of care caused the injury and the loss and damage that flowed from the injury.

A very good example of where this is a pertinent issue, is in a case of alleged late diagnosis of cancer.  In a case like this you must not only establish the negligence, namely that there was a delayed diagnosis but also that the patient would have had a more favourable prognosis had that delay not occurred.

In many medical negligence cases, establishing causation is a greater challenge than establishing a breach of the duty of care.  This is primarily because the cause of the injury, loss and damage suffered as a result of the particular medical condition can be uncertain and unpredictable.

Causation plays a vital role in your potential medical negligence claim.  Accordingly it is important to have experienced and professional legal assistance if you wish to pursue a claim for compensation as a result of medical negligence.  Today’s writer, Senior Associate at Andersons Solicitors, Suzanne Pinyon, is highly experienced in medical negligence claims.  Visit Suzanne’s profile for more information or to email or call her with an enquiry.


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Get in touch with today's blog writer:
Suzanne Pinyon

Partner in Personal Injury

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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