You believe your doctor was careless.
You believe his carelessness was a cause of your injury.
You believe your injuries are permanent.
Your actual claim says that your doctor violated the basic standards of medical care.
Another way is to claim that your doctor departed from good and accepted medical care.
Your doctor disagrees.
He claims he did nothing wrong.
He claims that if he did something wrong, so did you.
He also claims that nothing he did caused you any harm.
In addition, to add salt to the wound, he claims your injuries really are not as bad as you claim them to be.
Your case will not be settled.
The defense refuses to pay.
The defense refuses to acknowledge they are responsible for what happened to you.
That means your case will go to trial.
You'll have a jury trial.
Six members of the community will decide if you are more likely right than wrong.
Six members of the community will decide if your doctor was careless on that single day.
Six members of the jury who will determine if his carelessness was a cause of your injury.
If the answer is yes, then the jury will also decide how much money you are to receive as compensation for all the harms, losses and injuries you suffered.
You've heard that juries are made up of members of the community.
You've also heard that anyone can serve as a juror.
You don't have to have a background in medicine to participate as a juror in a medical malpractice case.
That's not a requirement.
If the six members of the jury don't have any background in medicine, how does the jury know if your doctor deviated from the standard of good medical care?
How does the jury know if your doctor violated the basic standards of medical practice?
Will someone tell them?
If someone tells them, won't there be competing experts who say the opposite things?
The answer is yes and yes.
You should know that in order to start a medical malpractice lawsuit, we are required to have a medical expert confirm (1) there was wrongdoing, (2) the wrongdoing caused you injury and (3) your injury is significant and/or permanent.
When your case goes to trial, we must bring in our medical experts to explain to the jury what the wrongdoing was, what happened to you because of your doctor being careless and how your injuries will affect you.
Our medical experts will explain to the jury what the standard of care was for your particular condition.
They must explain how your treatment deviated, departed & violated those basic standards.
The jury must understand how those departures from good care caused your injuries.
You are also correct in understanding that the doctor whom you sued will also bring in medical experts to testify.
They will testify that your doctor did nothing wrong.
They will explain to the jury how your treatment did not violate the standard of care.
They will try and explain how your injuries were caused by something other than what your doctor did or didn't do.
The testimony by the various medical experts give the jury the knowledge they will need to decide if your doctor was careless.
Let's look at it another way...
When we drive a car, we all know what the rules of the road are.
We know that a red traffic light means stop.
We know that a gree traffic light means go.
And we know that a yellow light means slow down.
We know what a double yellow lane means.
These are common and anyone who drives knows these basic rules of the road.
Let's turn now to medicine...
Doctors go to medical school for four years.
Then they go on to post-graduate training, typically another three to five years, depending on the specialty.
After that, they may go on for further post-graduate specialty training called a fellowship.
Then, finally, they can go into private practice.
As patients, we often do not have the knowledge and experience to know medically what the standard of care is for a particular problem.
We rely on our doctors to tell us what's wrong and give us options on how to treat our medical problems.
We expect our doctors to treat us appropriately.
We demand that they do the right thing for each of us.
The problem is that we often don't know if what a doctor has done is medically appropriate.
The same issue arises for a jury who must answer the same question.
That's why the jury must rely on testimony from various medical experts to learn what the rules of the road are for doctors and surgeons.
The jury must learn from competing experts what the standard of care was and then decide for themselves whether your doctor violated those rules of the road.
Remember also that the jury does not need to sit in court for weeks on end trying to be 100% sure that what you are claiming is true.
Instead, the jury only needs to determine that you are slightly more likely right than wrong.
Once they determine that you are slightly more likely right than wrong, you have achieved a verdict in your favor.
Now the jury must also answer whether your doctor's carelessness was a cause of your injury.
If the answer is yes, the jury must then decide how much money you are entitled to receive for all of your injuries.