What Is an “Offer of Proof” in a Boston Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

99933680One of the most essential reasons to work with a Boston medical malpractice attorney if you are a malpractice victim is for assistance in navigating the complicated legal system. To be sure, filing a medical malpractice claim is not as simple as heading to the court and alleging that malpractice occurred; rather, there are a number of specific steps that must be taken, and strategies that must be employed, to recover the compensation one deserves. One step that is essential for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim to understand is the requirement to produce an “offer of proof.” Attorney Douglas Lovenberg is ready to guide you through everything you need to know.

 

The Massachusetts “Offer of Proof” Requirement

 

As found in Massachusetts General Law Section 60B – Malpractice actions against providers of health care; tribunal,  “Every action for malpractice, error, or mistake against a provider of healthcare shall be heard by a tribunal….at which hearing the plaintiff shall present an offer of proof…”

 

The law continues to read that upon the presentation of the offer of proof, the tribunal will determine whether or not the evidence presented by the plaintiff is substantial enough for a malpractice claim to proceed.

 

So What Exactly Is an Offer of Proof?

 

An offer of proof simply refers to evidence presented by the plaintiff that demonstrates that:

 

  • The defendant is a provider of health care;
  • The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff; and
  • The breach caused harm to the plaintiff.

 

An offer of proof is composed of multiple evidence types. Types of evidence that may be contained in an offer of proof, and presented to a tribunal, include:

 

  • Expert opinions (the opinions of other medical experts who can testify to a breach of duty of care);
  • Medical records;
  • Testimony from any relevant witnesses or experts; and
  • Affidavits of any other relevant parties.

 

Preparing an Offer of Proof

 

Preparing an offer of proof can be a difficult thing to do on one’s own, particularly if still recovering from injuries. And without legal training, knowing exactly what is needed to compose a strong offer of proof may be elusive. Further, keep in mind that it is not enough to call upon a medical expert and ask them to provide an affidavit or letter stating that the defendant violated the standard of care; said medical expert must be of sufficient (and often exceptional) background, education, training, and experience, and be the same type of doctor as is the defendant.

 

Turn to an Experienced Boston Medical Malpractice Attorney

 

If you are the victim of medical malpractice, do not take the risk of preparing an insufficient offer of proof on your own; instead, work with an experienced Boston medical malpractice attorney who knows what they are doing and can build a strong case on your behalf. At Lovenberg & Associates, P.C., attorney Douglas Lovenberg and staff have the skill set and knowledge your case demands. Call 617-973-9950 to schedule your free case consultation.  

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