Essential Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim

May 16, 2017 | Crandall & Pera Law
Essential Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Patients trust health providers to be competent at their job, to be properly trained, to make a correct diagnosis, and to prescribe the right treatment for their medical problems. Any health provider who provides negligent care that injures a patient can be sued for medical malpractice. Health providers include doctors, hospitals, nurses, medical technicians, emergency health providers, and anyone who counsels or treats the patient. Medical malpractice is a legal term of art that has precise requirements. Experienced Ohio and Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys understand which requirements apply for their respective states.

The key elements of a medical malpractice claim

In order to hold the health provider liable for negligence or malpractice, each of the following items must be proved:

  • The establishment a doctor-patient relationship. Usually, the relationship can be demonstrated by the forms and admissions papers patients sign before the health provider sees the patient.

  • Showing that the health provider did not meet the appropriate standard of care. This requirement has two parts:

    • The standard of care for the doctor or hospital. The standard is the amount and types of skill that a prudent doctor with reasonably careful similar training would have. Family doctors are compared to similar family doctors. Neurosurgeons are compared to similar neurosurgeons. Family doctors are not required to have the skill of a neurosurgeon, however. This is a lot of legalese for saying, “What procedures and treatments would a similarly trained doctor have provided?”

    • How the provider failed to meet the standard of care. A qualified medical witness must then explain how specifically the defendant failed to meet the standard of care that was expected.

    • Proximate cause. It must be shown that the negligence of the doctor, the below-standard care, caused the patient physical harm.

    • Harm to the patient. Here, the medical witness will normally explain what injuries the patient sustained, what medical steps need to be taken to improve the patient’s condition and maintain his/her health, and what physical pain and emotional suffering the patient will endure – and for how long.

A major reason for employing the highly skilled medical malpractice lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law is that we have the resources and network to retain medical professionals who understand your injuries, or those of a loved one, and who know how to present the medical testimony in court. For help with your medical malpractice claim or that of a loved one, please call our Ohio lawyers at 877.686.8879 and our Kentucky attorneys at 877.651.7764. You can also contact us through our contact form.