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What are the four elements of medical malpractice?

When you try to take a case to court, you need to understand how the law works in your case. To provide proper proof, the law will require you to show evidence for the different elements of the proposed broken law or issue.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information explains there are four elements needed to prove medical malpractice.


You must prove there is a relationship between an action done by the medical professional and an injury you suffered. If you cannot prove a direct link, then you cannot prove this element, and you likely will not win your case.


You also must show the medical professional owed you a duty of care. This means that you must prove the medical personnel had a responsibility to provide you care as a patient.


Showing the doctor or medical professional acted in a negligent way is key to proving your case. Negligence in a medical situation is when a doctor does not follow the standard of care or does something that the average doctor would not do.


You must show you suffered an actual loss of some kind due to the actions of the medical professional. Being upset or having a minor aggravation due to the actions is not grounds for a medical malpractice situation. You need a substantial loss and impact on your life.

To prove your case and have the potential to win, you must provide evidence that shows each of the four elements. Failure to prove even one will put your case in jeopardy. These elements are important to avoid baseless claims or people trying to sue over simply being unhappy with care.