What Factors Affect Malpractice Verdicts?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 May 2018
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There are many factors that influence malpractice verdicts. Among them is the duty a provider of medical care or legal representation has to his patients or clients. Provider negligence and injury caused by negligence are also important factors in malpractice cases. In most jurisdictions, injury can take many forms, including physical, mental, and financial. Additionally, the extent of the damage a person has suffered can influence malpractice verdicts.

One of the factors that typically influences malpractice verdicts is the duty the medical or law practitioner had to his patient or client. In order for a plaintiff to win a malpractice lawsuit, he typically has to demonstrate that he had a provider-client or provider-patient relationship with the defendant. If this relationship exists, then a provider of medical care or legal help is usually required to meet his jurisdiction’s minimum standards of medical care or legal service. This is often the first matter of consideration in rendering malpractice verdicts.


The next matter of consideration in rendering malpractice verdicts is often whether the provider was negligent in his duty to his patient or client. For example, a doctor may be considered negligent if he failed to provide an acceptable quality of care to a patient. A lawyer, on the other hand, may be considered negligent if he breached his duty in providing legal representation to his client. In most cases, a plaintiff’s accusation of negligence isn't enough to end with a malpractice verdict in his favor. Instead, the plaintiff must usually prove negligence.

Injury is another factor in malpractice verdicts, and a plaintiff typically has to prove to the court that he suffered some type of damage. For example, a patient may claim that he suffered undue pain and expense because a doctor administered the wrong medication. A legal client, on the other hand, may claim that his lawyer failed to object to the admission of certain evidence and that failure caused him to be convicted of a crime. Generally, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the provider’s actions or lack of action caused the harm he suffered. If the provider’s actions contributed to the harm but didn't cause it, the plaintiff’s case may be less iron-clad.

The extent of the injury a person has suffered is also a factor in malpractice verdicts. It may influence not only who wins the case, but also the amount of money the plaintiff wins if the verdict is in his favor. Damage awards typically vary based on the unique laws of each jurisdiction.



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