In a Syracuse professional negligence case seeking monetary compensation for injuries caused by alleged medical or dental malpractice, the plaintiff has the burden of proof at trial. This means that he or she must be able to convince the jury of his or her right to money damages by a preponderance of the evidence.
However, it is not unusual for a malpractice case to be dismissed before it gets to trial. This is often through a pre-trial litigation tool known as “summary judgment.” Part of the idea behind summary judgment is that a case that does not have at least enough proof to create a genuine issue of fact should not proceed to trial because it would be a waste of judicial resources.
In order to make it past a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff must be able to offer a professional expert witness’s opinion as to the relevant matters in the case. Typically, this includes not only whether a deviation from the standard of care took place but also whether, if it did, the deviation was the proximate cause of the injuries about which the plaintiff complains in his or her pleadings to the court.