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Can Doctors’ Apologies Be Used as Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Following a medical procedure, unexpected complications can arise. While some negative outcomes are simply unfortunate side effects, others might be the result of medical malpractice.

Read further to learn more about how an Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer can help victims understand their rights, understand what a doctor’s apology means for a case, and determine if you have a valid claim.

Proving Medical Malpractice: Beyond a Bad Outcome

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the accepted standard of care and harms a patient. Simply experiencing a bad outcome after a medical procedure isn’t enough to prove malpractice.

Here’s what you need to demonstrate in order to have a valid case:

  • Doctor-Patient Relationship: A doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the healthcare professional in question.
  • Breach of Duty: The doctor or other healthcare provider failed to provide the standard of care expected from a professional in their field.
  • Causation: The breach of duty directly caused your injury.
  • Damages: You suffered damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, or financial losses due to your injury.

Oklahoma’s “I’m Sorry” Law

To address what appears to be commonly confusing for doctors and patients, Oklahoma has an “I’m sorry” law in place. This law protects apologies made by doctors and hospitals from being used as evidence of medical malpractice.

This means that when a doctor verbally expresses regret or apologizes for a bad outcome, it doesn’t mean they are confessing to malpractice. When we are fortunate enough to have medical providers who genuinely care, we may receive a sincere apology.

Apology vs. Confession of Negligence

There’s a distinct difference between an apology and a confession of negligence. An apology expresses sympathy or regret for a bad outcome, while a confession acknowledges fault for causing the harm.

Statements that might be considered evidenceof malpractice include:

  • A doctor admitting they made a mistake during surgery.
  • A nurse acknowledging they failed to follow proper medication protocols.
  • Hospital records indicating a deviation from standard care procedures.

Statements not considered evidence of malpractice include:

  • A doctor saying, “I’m sorry you’re going through this.”
  • A nurse apologizing for any discomfort you might be experiencing.

Build Your Case with an Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice cases are complex and require a thorough investigation to gather evidence that proves negligence and its link to your injuries. An Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer from Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers has the experience and resources to:

  • Meticulously Review Your Medical Records: Your medical records are a goldmine of information for your malpractice claim. A lawyer can thoroughly review them to identify potential deviations from the standard of care, such as missed diagnoses, improper treatment protocols, wrong medication, or a lack of documentation for key decisions.
  • Consult with Medical Experts: Understanding the expected standard of care in your specific case requires expertise beyond the legal realm. An Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer will consult with qualified medical professionals who can analyze your situation and provide evidence regarding the appropriate standard of care and whether it was breached.
  • Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim: Beyond medical records, evidence such as witness statements, pharmacy records, and billing statements can all be crucial for building your case. A lawyer will know how to obtain this evidence and ensure it is properly presented to support your case.
  • Negotiate With the Insurance Company: Healthcare providers are typically insured, and their insurance companies will likely be responsible for any compensation awarded in successful medical malpractice cases. An Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer has the experience to negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

H2: Don’t Wait to Get Help: Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you believe you may have been a victim of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can start building a strong case on your behalf.

Schedule a free consultation today with an Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer from Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers to discuss your situation and learn about your legal options.