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What are the elements of a medical malpractice claim?

While we naturally trust that our health care providers know what they are doing, based on their years of experience and education, sometimes a physician is negligent in caring for a patient. A health care professional commits medical malpractice when they negligently and wrongfully treat a patient, fail to treat a patient when necessary or provide a patient with subpar treatment. To constitute medical malpractice, the patient must suffer some sort of harm due to the health care professional's actions or inactions. For example, a physician could commit a medical error such as a misdiagnosis, providing the wrong dosage of a medication or making an error in treating the patient.

When such incidents occur, patients in Ohio may choose to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. The Medical Malpractice Center reports that each year our nation sees as many as 19,000 medical malpractice claims filed against physicians.

While health care professionals have a duty of care, they are not responsible for every harm a patient could suffer. They are only liable if the patient is harmed because the health care professional failed to uphold the duty of care that one would expect given similar circumstances. The factors of medical malpractice are as follows: the health care professional fails to meet their duty of care; the patient suffers harm due to the negligence of the health care professional; and the harm suffered resulted in damages.

As this shows, just because a patient is not satisfied with the way their physician treated them doesn’t necessarily mean the physician was negligent. Medical malpractice only takes place if the physician was negligent, and this negligence caused the patient to be harmed, resulting in damages. The information in this post is general in nature and cannot serve as the basis for any legal filing. Patients who believe they may have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim will want to make sure they understand how the law applies to the facts of their specific case before proceeding.

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