If you or someone close to you has been injured in what seems like a clear case of medical malpractice, we can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys can help you seek the compensation you need to put your life back together. We understand that these cases can be daunting, but you can rest assured we will try to make the process as seamless as possible for you.
“Res ipsa loquitur” is Latin for “the thing that speaks for itself.” When a case is tried on the legal theory of res ipsa loquitur, the circumstantial evidence in the case is so convincing that it removes possible causes of the patient’s injury other than the doctor’s negligence. Put another way, in situations in which a specific cause of an injury is unknown, res ipsa loquitur permits negligence to be inferred from the circumstances under which a injury took place, if the injury would not normally occur in the absence of negligence.
The doctrine may be applicable to certain medical malpractice cases, especially cases involving injuries during surgical procedures. For example, if an injury to an anesthetized patient occurs during surgery in an area remote from the operating site, res ipsa loquitur may be appropriate to establish malpractice. In such a scenario, the plaintiff would have to show that the surgeon can be presumed negligent because he or she had exclusive access to the patient’s body at that time, the injury would not have occurred in the absence of negligence, and the plaintiff did not contribute to the injury in any way. It is important to note that to rely on res ipsa loquitur, the plaintiff need not conclusively eliminate the possibility of all other causes of injury.