It is common for health professionals in hospitals to work in under-resourced and stressful conditions. When medical care providers work long hours without rest or have more patients than they can handle, quality suffers. Not only that, the risk of mistakes increases.
As a patient, you count on the expertise and capacity of your healthcare team. You trust them, sometimes with your life, even though you do not know them personally. This implicit trust makes it all the more devastating when you or someone you love is catastrophically injured or dies due to medical malpractice.
Standard of care and the elements of negligence
There are four required conditions necessary to prove medical malpractice. They hinge on the legally defined standard of care which states that medical care must meet certain criteria to demonstrate a commitment to avoiding harm. It outlines the care that a reasonable person would provide in the same circumstances, all things considered. For a doctor to be negligent, four conditions have to be met:
- Duty: The expectation that medical professionals will adhere to standards of care
- Breach of duty: The medical professional’s failure to adhere to standards of care
- Harm: The patient suffers harm due to the medical professional’s breach of duty
- Causation: There is proof that the medical professional’s breach of duty caused harm to the patient
You should know that while the burden of proof is high for a medical malpractice case, it is possible to recover compensation for damages due to negligence. Working with an attorney experienced in these types of cases improves your chances of having your voice heard and validated.