What Elements Constitute Medical Negligence?

If you think your doctor might have been guilty of medical negligence, it may help to know exactly what medical negligence means. Some people think medical negligence and medical malpractice mean the same thing. However “negligence” means something more specific. Negligence implies a lack of action, meaning that a doctor has failed to do something or perform an action that would typically be done in standard medical care. For example, if a doctor is distracted and forgets to check a patient’s chart, he or she is responsible if the patient reacts badly to a drug allergy. If the doctor is lucky enough to have caused no damage during that lapse in concentration, he or she is still considered negligent.

When Does Medical Negligence Turn into Medical Negligent Malpractice?

Medical negligence can become medical malpractice if the negligence leads to injury. Using the previous example, if the doctor administered morphine to a patient allergic to the drug, the patient could experience anaphylaxis, or a dangerous, whole-body reaction to the morphine. Anaphylaxis could be fatal if untreated immediately. Even if treated, it could also cause damage if the patient’s air supply was too weak to provide sufficient oxygen to the brain.

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

In order to verify that your doctor is guilty of medical negligent malpractice, you must be able to prove four things:

  1. Your doctor owed you a duty of care
  2. Your doctor violated the standard of care that should have been given in all similar circumstances
  3. You suffered compensable injury
  4. That injury was directly caused by the insufficient care (negligence) of your doctor

Make sure that you have documented your care as much as possible. It is up to you to prove that these four elements appear in your case before you appear in court. If you’re concerned about whether or not your case has these four components, give us a call at (202) 888-0872 or fill in your information on our online form for a consultation. We’ll fight for your compensation.

Categories: Medical Malpractice