How do I know if I have a valid medical malpractice claim?
In order to determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim in Miami, Ft Myers, Ft Lauderdale, or throughout Florida, the medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm South Florida will carefully examine all aspects of the injury or harm you suffered at the hands of a medical professional. If negligence is evident, then we can proceed with a medical malpractice suit; however, there are certain elements that must exist in order for medical malpractice to have occurred.
What are the elements that prove medical malpractice?
The four legal elements of medical malpractice are:
- existence of duty of care
- breach of duty of care
- injury or further harm occurred
- proximate cause
What is duty of care?
For medical malpractice to be proven, it must be shown that a duty of care relationship existed between the healthcare provider (physician) and the patient. Once duty of care relationship is established, the physician is responsible for possessing the reasonable skills and medical knowledge necessary to provide adequate care. It is also the physician’s responsibility to apply that knowledge in terms of competent diagnosis and treatment according to a standard of care.
What is breach of duty?
In order to prove a breach of duty, it must first be determined whether or not your physician provided adequate information and treatment options to you, so you could give informed consent. Next, expert medical witnesses are called upon to prove a deviation from the widely accepted standard of care. If they identify a deviation, this would result in a breach of duty.
How is “injury” legally defined in medical malpractice claims?
In medical malpractice claims, “injury” is defined as further harm to the patient that was caused by the physician’s actions, delayed actions, or failure to act. The injury, harm or damage does not have to merely be physical; it can also include the medical expenses or lost income that resulted from the malpractice, and emotional distress.
What is proximate cause?
The last of the four legal elements of medical malpractice is the determination of proximate cause. This involves proving that both the evidence and the expert testimony show that the harm done to a patient was the direct result of medical negligence.
If you live in Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Fort Myers or anywhere in South Florida and have suffered due to a medical professional’s negligence or wrongdoing, please contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at The Cochran Firm South Florida today to schedule a confidential, no cost consultation.