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Understanding duty in a medical malpractice claim

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a form of tort or personal injury law that holds medical providers accountable for the harm they cause their patients. In New York, victims of medical malpractice can sue doctors, nurses, and other health care providers for the injuries and losses they sustain due to the providers’ negligence. At the core of medical malpractice claims is the duty that exists between providers and patients.

This post will explore duty in the context of medical malpractice. No part of this post should be read as legal advice and readers should consider this post informational in its general content. Individuals with potential medical malpractice claims can direct their questions to attorneys who work in the personal injury field of law.

The duty of a medical care provider to their patient

The existence of a duty between a defendant and a victim is essential to a medical malpractice claim. When the defendant in a case is a doctor and the victim is their patient, their doctor-patient relationship establishes the duty between them. Generally, when a medical practitioner undertakes the care of an individual, a duty of care is created and the provider is expected to provide an expected standard of care for their patient.

Medical providers have expected standards that they should meet to be competent in their chosen fields. When a provider falls below this standard, they may breach their duty of care to their patient. A patient who suffers harm as a result of such a breach may have a claim based on the provider’s alleged malpractice.

Other elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit

A victim who can show that a duty existed between them and the medical care provider that harmed them is not done establishing their case for medical malpractice. They will generally also have to prove a breach of the established duty, causation between the breach and the harm the victim suffered, and examples of damages that they sustained. Building a claim for medical malpractice can be complicated, but with the help of an attorney it can provide victims with options for protecting their rights and pursuing their losses.