Medical malpractice: a closer look at the required elements
Updated: May 6
Medical malpractice is an important issue that affects many people each year. It can lead to devastating consequences for patients and their families, and can have serious long-term effects on their health and wellbeing. In this post, we'll explain what medical malpractice is, what you need to prove to win a case, and why these cases are often difficult.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims that a healthcare provider (e.g. doctor, nurse, hospital) failed to provide the standard of care that a reasonable healthcare provider would have provided in similar circumstances. Medical malpractice cases can arise from a wide variety of events, such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, or birth injuries
What Do You Have to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?
In order to win a medical malpractice case, there are four elements that must be established:
- A duty of care existed: The healthcare provider had a professional duty to provide care to the patient.
- The duty was breached: The healthcare provider failed to fulfill their duty of care, either through an action or failure to act.
- The breach caused the injury: The healthcare provider's breach of duty was the direct cause of the patient's injury.
- The injury resulted in damages: The patient suffered actual harm, such as physical pain or financial losses, as a result of their injury.
Why Medical Malpractice Cases are Difficult
Medical malpractice cases can be difficult for a variety of reasons. One of the main complexities is that medical treatment is often highly technical and specialized, making it difficult for non-medical professionals to assess the quality of care given.
Another challenge is the difficulty of establishing causation, which requires proving that the healthcare provider's actions directly caused the patient's injury. This often requires the use of expert witnesses who can provide specialist testimony on medical standards.
If you believe you've been a victim of medical malpractice, it's important to seek the advice of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. These cases can be complex and difficult, but a skilled attorney can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected. If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice, don't hesitate to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.