4 Legal Elements of Medical Malpractice Every Physician Should Know

Doctor of MedicineWith the exceptionally high standards in medical science today, healthcare providers must be up-to-date with the current benchmarks. Anything less may mean a breach of trust or an act of medical negligence on the part of the professional provider, which is tantamount to medical malpractice. Without a good medical malpractice insurance plan, they are at a risk of losing their license to provide healthcare services.

Medical malpractice is quite tricky to understand. From the legal to the financial aspects involved, there are many factors that determine or disprove a medical malpractice claim. By law, there are four elements a patient must prove to show a medical negligence or omission has, in fact, happened.

Legal Duty

For a medical malpractice to happen, there must be an established relationship between the patient and the care provider. A physician must provide reasonable care to their patients. This includes doctors covering for an absent colleague or a physician providing emergency care to an accident victim. Outside such perimeters, like a social setting, the physician does not have the duty to provide reasonable care, which means one is not subject to malpractice allegations.

Breach of Standard Care

The second element highlights the importance of invoking the concept of standard of care. Jurisdictions have different definitions of standard of care. For example, if you plan to subscribe to a reliable medical malpractice insurance in Florida, you have to know the specific definition. Often, experts with knowledge of medical science become witnesses to verify a breach of standard care.

Direct Cause      

The breach of standard care should also the direct cause of an injury. The injured patient must show enough evidence that one’s injury has been sustained through the negligent act. A person can also establish a close relationship of the malpractice to the injury when the breach of standard care does not directly cause the injury itself.


Ultimately, the patient must show evidence of the damages done due to the medical negligence. Often, healthcare providers must compensate for the monetary damages of the alleged patient. Without sound evidence of the damages, however, it will be hard for the patient to claim medical malpractice.

Healthcare providers must have a good understanding of what they should do when they are accused of medical malpractice. With these four elements, they can better prepare and make their defense.