What Are the 4 C’s in Medical Malpractice? January 31, 2024.

What Are the 4 C’s in Medical Malpractice?

Understanding how medical malpractice claims work can be challenging for the average person. There’s a lot of red tape and bureaucratic hoops to jump through, which can be intimidating for people recovering from an injury.

Below, we go over the four most important aspects of a medical malpractice case – the 4 C’s – what they mean for patients, and how a qualified Cleveland malpractice lawyer can help you and your family navigate post-injury recovery.

The 4 C’s of Medical Malpractice 

The 4 C’s of medical malpractice refer to the four critical elements of a lawsuit that must be proven in order for the claim to be successful. These are:

1. Causation

One of the most critical elements of a malpractice case is that of causation. This establishes a direct connection between the doctor’s actions and your injury. To do this successfully, you must be able to show that the physician failed to provide the normal standard of care in their field and that it resulted in you becoming injured. You’ll need to illustrate how if not for the provider’s failure, your injury would not have occurred.

2. Consent

If a patient receives a treatment or medical procedure they did not consent to, this can be an element of medical malpractice if you were hurt as a result. You will need to provide evidence that shows no consent was obtained, such as the lack of a signed consent form or proof that you weren't able to consent. You should also bring evidence to prove your case that shows how had you been adequately informed about the treatment or procedure you were to receive, you would not have consented to it.

3. Communication

Communication goes hand in hand with consent and healthcare providers have a responsibility to ensure they are clearly communicating diagnostic information, potential risks, and other critical information.

Often, medical providers fail to communicate at all with their patients, resulting in confusion and potential misunderstandings. If a doctor's failure to communicate ultimately resulted in you getting hurt or sick, they may be legally liable for any damages they caused.

4. Competence

Finally, you must be able to demonstrate a lack of competence and show how the actions of your doctor or other healthcare provider deviated from the normally accepted standard of care in their field.

This standard differs between specialties, practices, and even physicians, so it's important to work with a medical expert witness who can provide testimony about what that standard is. This person is a professional in the same field as the plaintiff in your case and can testify if they were or were not clinically competent.

How to Prove Your Ohio Medical Malpractice Claim

Proving that a medical provider either knowingly or negligently caused you harm can be challenging, especially when large hospitals and prominent doctors have expensive legal teams with multiple medical malpractice attorneys working on their case.

However, these items form the backbone of your case and can help establish the 4 C’s:

  1. Detailed medical records. Get copies of all of your medical records, including the doctors’ and nurses’ written notes about your condition and treatment. If you are still going through treatment or diagnostic testing for your injury, ask your medical providers to be as detailed as possible when charting your visits and get copies before you leave. 
  2. Photographs of your injuries. In the case of medical negligence, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. If your injuries are physical, take several photos that illustrate how severe they were, how long they lasted, and what your life was like during the healing process. 
  3. Witness testimony. Family or friends may be able to testify about the injuries you received and how they impacted your life, while an expert witness is helpful when trying to explain complicated medical concepts to a jury. Witness testimony lends credibility to your case and can corroborate what happened and if the provider was acting according to previously established best practices.

Contact The Mellino Law Firm Today

If you or someone you love have been hurt by a negligent doctor or other medical care provider, The Mellino Law Firm can help. Our experienced Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys can provide you with the zealous and compassionate advocacy you need.

Contact us today by dialing (440) 333-3800 and we’ll schedule your free initial case consultation. Or, you can complete our short online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can to answer your important questions about medical malpractice in Ohio.