Diving Into the Four Elements of Medical Malpractice

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Medical malpractice is a complex realm where patient safety intersects with the responsibilities of healthcare practitioners. This article breaks down the essential elements crucial for a successful malpractice claim.

Duty of Care

Any malpractice claim starts with the relationship between a doctor and a patient. This duty isn’t just about formal contracts; it can exist even without direct contact. Real cases, like Ortiz v Glusman, show that when a doctor takes action to help a patient, they’ve taken on a duty of care.

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Breach of Duty

State laws and expert testimony are pivotal in determining whether a breach has occurred. It delves into the examination of a physician’s actions in comparison to the conduct of other practitioners within the state, highlighting the importance of adhering to the standards of a reasonably prudent doctor.

Causal Link

A clear connection between a doctor’s actions and a patient’s injury is crucial. “Cause in fact,” indicating that the injury would not have occurred without the doctor’s negligence, and “proximate cause,” signifying the foreseeability of the consequence, form integral aspects of this element.


It’s crucial to show clear evidence of either financial or physical harm. Compensatory damages cover medical costs and lost wages. On the other hand, non-economic damages are harder to calculate because they involve things like pain and suffering. Additionally, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer, though they’re rarely awarded in medical malpractice cases. A reputable personal injury law firm can help ensure the patient receives rightful compensation.


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