Negligence occurs when a person fails to meet a particular standard of care and another person is harmed by that conduct. In the context of medical negligence, it is often the conduct of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals that is alleged to have caused or created harm for Pittsburgh residents. This post will offer an overview of the general elements of a medical negligence case, but readers are asked to discuss their medical malpractice questions with legal professionals who provide counseling and advocacy in this area of the law.
First, in order for a health care provider to commit medical negligence that individual must have a duty toward the victim. When a person becomes the patient of a doctor that duty is established; when a patient is admitted to a hospital they are generally owed a duty of care by the medical personnel who work in the facility.
Second, the responsible health care provider must breach their duty of care to the victim by failing to meet the standard of care expected of someone in their professional position. For example, if a doctor fails to abide by the expectations of their profession or deviates from the acceptable level of care one in their profession should offer their patients, then that duty may be breached.
Finally, the victim-patient of the medical negligence must suffer some injury or harm as a consequence of that medical professional’s breach of duty. Examples of injuries or harm in the medical negligence context can be a patient’s worsened condition, need of further treatments or even death.
Cases of medical negligence can vary greatly and the outcome of one case cannot predict the outcome of another. As such, readers are asked to investigate their medical malpractice claims and to consider utilizing the services of personal injury attorneys to guide them through their medical negligence inquiries.