The Four Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice comes about when a patient suffers harm from a medical professional who fails to perform his or her duties competently. Each state has its rules regarding medical malpractice. However, there are basic principles surrounding medical malpractice claims. 

Malpractice claims could be hard for everyone to comprehend. That is why it is necessary to seek an experienced attorney such as a Miami medical malpractice attorney if you think you are a victim of medical malpractice.

To successfully build a case of medical malpractice, you need to allege four main things- the duty of the practitioner, breach of this duty, causation and damages. Therefore, you need to plead and show that the medical professional didn’t offer the best care as they should have. 

The four elements

  • Duty

Under the first element, you need to show that the medical caregiver had a duty to provide you with the best care and treatment. This element can be established by proving there was a doctor-patient relationship. Your medical records are proof enough of this relationship. You cannot sue a practitioner who didn’t attend to you directly.

  1. Breach

Being unhappy with your results or how the medical caregiver treated you doesn’t make them liable for malpractice. In your claim, you need to prove that the medical practitioner breached his duty. 

You need to show that as a skilled medical provider, he did not provide you with the expected care and treated he should have. You can prove this through expert testimony coming from another qualified medical professional.

Most states will require the patient to come with a medical expert who will discuss the appropriate standards of medical care. Based on that, they can show how the defendant didn’t meet the set standards.

  1. Causation

In most malpractice cases, the patient was already injured or sick. Hence it makes it hard to determine that the injury of the patient was as a result of the doctor’s malpractice and not the underlying illness.

For your claim to be valid, you need to provide evidence of harm that resulted from the medical malpractice. There needs to be a causal relationship between the breach, and the harm inflicted.

For example, if the practitioner performed an unnecessary and you suffer complications from the surgery, you can argue that the malpractice is the cause of your injuries.

  1. Damages

You might prove that the doctor is liable for your injuries. However, you cannot sue the practitioner if you didn’t suffer any harm. Therefore, you need to show evidence that you suffered actual damages. 

Mostly, it is argued in terms of monetary expenses of bills which came about from your injury. You can also discuss damages in forms such as emotional distress, loss of consortium or loss of income.

From the elements above, it is clear you need to have substantial evidence to build your case. Medical malpractice law is regulated by a set of rules which varies according to the state. Therefore, you need to find a reliable and experienced medical malpractice attorney who understands the law.