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Causation in Medical Negligence

A Plaintiff in a personal injury action has the burden of proving that the negligence of the Defendant caused the Plaintiff’s injuries.

In a road traffic accident claim this burden may be easily borne or discharged; prove the circumstances of the accident and then the fact that the injuries were sustained in the accident.

In a medical negligence action, in order to fix the Defendant with responsibility, the Plaintiff may have to prove that his illness (his medical condition) was not the cause of his injuries.

In practice this may require the Plaintiff to prove, in detail, events which, in other circumstances, he would not be expected to address with such precision.

I have adverted to this previously as seen HERE and HERE.

Even if the injured Plaintiff was not “ill” (as in a maternity unit), the Defendant will be able to cite many natural processes to explain the Plaintiff’s injury. Consequently, the Plaintiff must explain away many things.

In short, in a medical negligence action the Plaintiff will not find many “facts” which are deemed self-evident.