A bill pending in the Florida state legislature (HB 827) would increase the burden of proof required of plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases. Currently in that state, in order to succeed plaintiffs must prove their case by the “greater weight of evidence.” Under the proposed bill, plaintiffs would have the tougher burden of proving their cases by “clear and convincing evidence.” Additionally, the bill would permit defense attorneys to speak with the plaintiff’s subsequent treating doctors without notifying the plaintiff. These changes would certainly make it more difficult for plaintiffs to receive compensation for injuries caused by medical malpractice.
In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs are required to prove their medical malpractice case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which simply means that it is more likely than not that negligence has occurred. This is a much lower burden than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard most people are familiar with, which only applies in criminal cases. The “clear and convincing evidence” standard proposed in Florida falls in between these.
The attorneys at Stark & Stark specialize in medical malpractice. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at Stark & Stark for a free consultation.
Michael Ksiazek is a member of Stark & Stark’s Yardley, PA office, concentrating in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Ksiazek.