Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Four Elements of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice has the following four essential elements. All four of these elements must be proven for malpractice to be established.

[1] Duty of care resulting from a relationship between the patient and the caregiver. Associated with this is a minimal "standard of care" (duty of care).

The question here is "Did the caregiver agree to treat the patient?" If the answer is YES, then an appropriate degree of skill and competence is required (the minimal standard of care). In addition, there may be instances where the caregiver has a duty to persons other than the patient. For example, should a patient suffer an epileptic seizure that leads to an accident to others (as in a car accident), the caregiver may be liable for their injuries as a result of failing to diagnose the patient's epilepsy or for not warning the patient against driving when the diagnosis of epilepsy was established.

[2] Breach of that standard of care by caregiver (breech of duty)

This is usually established by expert court testimony that defines what the acceptable standard of care is and that explains how the caregiver did not provide that care. Of course, expert witnesses for the other side will argue the exact opposite.

[3] Injury to the patient

This is often easy to establish, as in when the patient has had the wrong kidney removed, but it can be more difficult to establish, for instance, when the injury is psychological.

[4] Proof of the injury was caused by the breach of care (proximate cause)

Proximate cause can be determined by asking if the patient would have been harmed in the absence of the caregiver's actions. For example, would a patient undergoing an appendectomy have been harmed if the surgeon had not left a sponge in the patient's addomen? If the answer is NO, then the surgeon's actions are deemed to have caused harm to the patient, and thus fit the causation requirements.

A person accused of malpractice can mount a defence by showing that one of the above four elements is missing. For instance, he or she may argue that the injury to the patient was preexisting and not caused by the caregiver.

Common theories (types of claims) of malpractice include: 1) lack of appropriate care; 2) lack of informed consent; 3) negligent supervision; 4) patient abandonment etc.


At 1:27 AM, Blogger JSTBOOK said...

Amazingly described steps and method to prove medical malpractice to be established. I have bookmarked this post and will use it as reference upon a need for Similar Situation.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous malpractice insurance for home care said...

I don't have any idea about those four elements of medical malpractice. But I can say after reading this post that those elements are very important we all should know that.

At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Hip Replacement Recall said...

Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community & causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. In a medical malpractice claim, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, which means that you as the victim must show these things.

At 5:46 AM, Anonymous jaasie@zimmer hip recall lawyers said...

This post will give light for any ambiguous thoughts about medical malpratice.

At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been clear to me what are the core elements of Medical malpractice. and it has been clear to me that zimmer hip damages is one of the events that can be classified as medical malpractice.

At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been clear to me the elements of medical malpractice. And it is draws to my conclusion about the issue on asr hip recall.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Marky said...

Medical practice also falls into some issues such as the asr hip recall lawsuits that have been filed.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Hip replacement recall said...

Your post explains medical malpractice in simple terms that can be understood by anyone.
I would add an important thing for those searching for information on this topic, or maybe thinking to file such a lawsuit: there is statue of limitation on medical malpractice cases, meaning there is a limited time to file a medical malpractice case.

At 3:58 AM, Anonymous phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and informative article. My medical malpractice Arizona appreciates this so much. Have a nice day!

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous negligence solicitors said...

If you want to know more about medical claim you should ask a medical negligence solicitor to explain to you what this claims all about. They have all the knowledge and skills to assist you on this legal matter.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger vadi said...

That's really cool buddy.....Obviously the lady was logical.

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At 1:46 AM, Blogger Cell said...

These four elements of medical malpractice give a lot of information to consider medical negligence. For your medical negligence claims, my advice is that you must consult a medical negligence lawyer to help you settle your compensation. They will be the one to process everything on your behalf.

At 1:21 AM, Blogger Ronald Anthony said...

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At 3:30 AM, Blogger PAUL J TELLARICO said...

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