Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

What are the basics of a medical malpractice claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

When Florida residents need medical treatment, they expect to receive the best possible healthcare. That is understandable, since America has some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world. However, the reality is that medical malpractice is quite common in our country. When these incidents occur, legal action may be necessary. So, what are the basics of a medical malpractice claim?

Well, for starters, the basic elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit are not dissimilar to other “tort” or personal injury cases. The elements of such a case are: “duty”; “breach”; “causation”; and “damages.” Proving these elements, however, can be much more difficult in a medical malpractice case than in any other types of personal injury cases because the medical data and opinion of experts are crucial parts of medical malpractice cases.

The “duty” element is oftentimes the easiest part of a medical malpractice case to prove. The duty is the doctor-patient relationship and the professional duty the healthcare professional owes to the patient. The “breach” element is proving that the duty in question was breached by the acts or omissions of the healthcare professional. In medical malpractice cases, this usually means that the healthcare professional did not adhere to a certain “standard of care” that would be typical, given the patient’s health condition.

The “cause” element is proven by showing that the breach of the duty owed was, in fact, the actual cause of the patient’s subsequent injury, illness or worsened condition. Lastly, the “damages” element is proven by showing that the patient did indeed suffer some type of harm, usually by financial means.

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