Literally, "res ipsa loquitur" is Latin for "the thing speaks for itself." In terms of medical malpractice, the res ipsa doctrine refers to cases where the doctor's treatment was so far below the appropriate standard of care that negligence is assumed.
In most medical malpractice lawsuits, the injured party must prove that the physician breached his duty by failing to provide a certain standard of medical care. This breach of duty must be demonstrated by expert testimony. However, in res ipsa cases expert testimony about the standard of care is not required.
Instead, the person injured must prove the following in order for the res ipsa doctrine to apply:
Although a plaintiff can prove res ipsa in any case where the above criteria are met, some common scenarios are:
If you are involved in a case that may involve res ipsa loquitur, speak to a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice can advise you on the best way to present and win your case.
Last Modified: 03-18-2014 02:59 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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