Definition of Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can be any type of failure by a doctor or medical professional which fails to meet the standard of care for duties relating to the medical profession. To prove medical negligence the patient will have to pass the three part test: 1) the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient, 2) the duty of care was breached and 3) the breach of duty was the proximate cause of the injuries suffered by the patient.
Duty is established by the doctor/patient relationship. Breach of duty is proven if the doctor's practice fails to meet an appropriate standard of care, which is generally compared to other doctor's care in similar situations. The most complicated part of the medical negligence case, however, is to prove that the harm a claimant has suffered has occurred as a direct result of an act or a failure to act. The plaintiff or patient must establish on the balance of probabilities that negligence has occurred by the hospital or doctor.
If you prove medical negligence in a medical malpractice case you may be compensated for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. All medical negligence claims must be filed within a specified time period or a statute of limitations which varies by state. Failure to file your claim within the statute of limitations will eliminate your right to compensation through a medical malpractice claim.