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The key elements of medical malpractice 

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Patients have a right to receive the best possible treatment from doctors and medical professionals. For the most part, this is what happens. 

Nonetheless, medical professionals are only human and they can make mistakes. A mere mistake is not necessarily actionable in law. However, under certain conditions, an injured patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. 

What are the key elements of medical malpractice

A duty of care 

The first point to establish in medical malpractice is whether or not the medical professional owed the patient a duty of care. The duty of care begins immediately upon a doctor examining a patient and it continues throughout treatment. Simply put, if a doctor has examined you, they owe you a duty of care. 

A breach of that duty 

Once the doctor has examined you they have a duty to treat you to the best of their abilities. This means making an accurate diagnosis and prescribing the appropriate course of treatment. If they are unable to treat your condition personally, then they should refer you to someone who can. A failure to provide proper treatment or refer you to the appropriate medical professionals could amount to a breach of duty of care.

Direct causation 

For a medical malpractice claim to stand, the medical professional or institution party to the claim should have directly caused your injuries. If a doctor has correctly referred you somewhere else and the new doctor causes you harm, then there is a break in the chain of causation. The initial doctor would not be liable for malpractice. 

Quantifiable damages 

The final element of medical malpractice claims is proving quantifiable damages. This means that the patient must have suffered economic or non-economic losses that can be quantified. 

As you can see, medical malpractice claims are not straightforward. If you have been let down by medical staff, seek further legal information to find out more about your options.