What are the Legal Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case?
Just as the field of medicine requires extensive training and expertise, proving medical malpractice involves a similar understanding of both medicine and the law. Pennsylvania law has many detailed requirements. But the first requirement involves proving practitioner negligence in accordance with a precise legal definition.
The Definition of Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases
An informal definition of negligence is simply the failure to exercise reasonable care. But medical malpractice lawyers must prove that the following four elements exist to prove a case in court:
- The practitioner owed a duty to a patient: All medical practitioners—including doctors, surgeons, nurses, therapists, dentists, pharmacists, and medical facilities—owe patients a specific standard of care under Pennsylvania law.
- The practitioner breached that duty: The breach can include a variety of issues, including performing procedures in a negligent manner, misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a medical condition, providing substandard care in a medical facility, improperly dispensing medication, or countless other situations.
- The patient suffered damages: Damages can be relatively moderate, such as the need for additional care to correct a condition caused by medical malpractice. In the worst cases, it can relate to permanent disability or death suffered due to medical malpractice.
- Failure by the practitioner caused injury to the patient: The final element essentially links acts of medical malpractice directly to the injury suffered by the patient.
While these four elements seem straightforward, proving medical negligence requires aPittsburgh, PA medical malpractice lawyer with extensive technical expertise and the support of a network of medical specialists. The law office of Dattilo Law Offices, P.C. has both in-house medical expertise and external resources working together to develop an effective case for injured clients.
Find Out How an Experienced Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
The Pittsburgh medical malpractice law office of Dattilo Law Offices, P.C. offers a free consultation. We operate on a contingency fee basis—you owe nothing unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Please fill out our contact us form, or call our office at (412) 391-6300 to arrange an appointment.