Medical malpractice claims are important for victims to understand, which is why understanding the elements of a medical malpractice claim is also helpful. Although the laws regarding medical malpractice may vary somewhat by state, the doctor’s duty of care is always a part of a medical malpractice claim.

A medical malpractice claim may allow a victim or their family to recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional injuries they have suffered because of the negligence of a doctor, medical care professional or hospital. In all circumstances, a doctor or other medical care professional owes the victim a duty of care, which is usually referred to as the standard of care.

The standard of care refers to what a reasonable doctor or medical care professional in similar circumstances would have done. If the standard of care delivered by the doctor to the victim fell below that threshold, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. The doctor owes a duty to act as a reasonably prudent doctor would in the circumstances. To determine what the standard of care would be, the court may evaluate the differential diagnosis and determine whether the doctor carefully reviewed the patient’s medical history and symptoms, examine what tests were ordered and if they were correctly interpreted, along with other considerations.

Medical malpractice can result in a worsened condition for the victim or the loss of a loved one for family members. As a result, it is necessary to be familiar with medical malpractice rights and protections and know what to do if you are harmed by the negligence of a doctor or other medical care provider.