What elements must I satisfy in my medical malpractice claim?

No one in Connecticut enjoys being sick. Sometimes our ailments are minor — such as the common cold — and simply staying at home and resting is enough to make us better. However, if we have an infection, a serious illness such as cancer or a serious injury such as head trauma, we need to turn to medical professionals for treatment.

Most of the time, our physicians, surgeons and nurses fulfill their duty of care toward patients. However, these medical professionals sometimes make mistakes. They may misdiagnose an illness, operate on the wrong part of the body or prescribe the wrong medication. When these mistakes happen, they can cause the patient to suffer a worsened condition. If such situations cause the patient to incur significant medical expenses, pain and suffering and loss of income, then the patient may want to learn more about pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

However, not every mistake made by a medical professional will automatically mean the patient will succeed on a medical malpractice claim. The following elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence for a patient to prevail on a medical malpractice claim. First, the medical professional must owe a duty to the patient to provide care with the same degree of skill that competent medical professionals will have under similar circumstances. Second, the medical professional must have breached that duty. Finally, that breach must be the proximate cause of the damages the patient suffered, meaning that “but for” the medical professional’s breach, the patient will not have suffered damages.

This is only a brief overview of the elements that must be present to hold a medical professional liable for malpractice. Ultimately, readers who are wondering whether they have the grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim should not rely solely on the information in this post, but instead should seek the legal advice they need to have their questions answered.