Patients who are treated in New York hospitals may wonder about how to approach possible medical malpractice situations, especially in cases involving difficulty in establishing wrongdoing on the part of a medical professional or health care provider. Proving wrongdoing can be challenging in some cases because of the medical issues involved. Medical reports are typically created by the very individuals who might be sued in a medical malpractice case. The details recorded may leave room for doubt about whether malpractice has occurred as a report protects a potentially guilty individual. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur may be appropriate if clear proof of medical malpractice is not available.
The Latin phrase means that a situation speaks for itself. When provider or hospital negligence cannot be clearly proven, this doctrine may be helpful for demonstrating that a condition or injury would not have otherwise occurred. Although the cause of a medical injury may not be clear, the involvement of a medical professional in one's treatment might reasonably be connected to the condition.