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Key elements of medical malpractice cases

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases play a role in ensuring patient safety. They help hold healthcare providers accountable for their actions.

When patients believe they have been a victim of medical negligence, there are several key elements they can use to build a strong case.

Standard of care

The standard of care refers to the level of care and treatment that a competent medical professional in the same field would provide under similar circumstances. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from this standard, resulting in harm to the patient.

Breach of duty

It is not enough to show that a person’s care was subpar. You must also show that the healthcare provider’s actions or omissions were negligent or reckless. This breach of duty is often the crux of a case.


Causation involves establishing a direct link between the healthcare provider’s breach of duty and the harm the patient suffered. In other words, patients must demonstrate that the negligence directly caused their injury or worsened their condition.


Patients must show that they have suffered actual damages as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence. These damages can be physical, emotional or financial in nature. It is necessary to quantify the extent of the harm and its impact on the patient’s life to support the case.

Expert testimony

Medical malpractice cases often require expert testimony from qualified healthcare professionals. These experts can help establish the standard of care, demonstrate the breach of duty and establish the causation link between the negligence and the patient’s injuries. Expert testimony provides validation for the patient’s claims.

Statute of limitations

The statute of limitations is the legal time limit within which a patient can file a lawsuit. In New York, the medical malpractice window is generally two years and six months from the act, omission or failure, with a few notable exceptions. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in case dismissal.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and multifaceted. These elements collectively address medical negligence and ensure the protection of patient rights.


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