| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
Elements Of Medical Negligence

Understanding the elements of a medical malpractice case under New York law is crucial when you or a loved one suffers from medical negligence.

New York has specific requirements and legal nuances that must be carefully considered, so consulting with an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney is highly advisable.

What Are the Elements of Medical Malpractice?

Understanding the 4 elements of medical negligence is essential for anyone pursuing a medical malpractice claim in New York.

1. Duty of Care

The first element in a medical malpractice case is establishing that the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care. Essentially this requires proving that a doctor-patient relationship existed.

In New York, this relationship forms when a healthcare provider agrees to diagnose or treat you, creating an obligation to adhere to the standard of care.

The standard of care refers to the level of care a reasonably competent healthcare professional with similar training and experience would provide under similar circumstances.

2. Breach of Duty

Once the duty of care is established, you must show that the healthcare provider breached this duty. A breach occurs when the provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care.

This can involve various actions or omissions, such as:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis,
  • Surgical errors,
  • Medication errors,
  • Failure to obtain informed consent, and
  • Negligent prenatal care.

In New York, demonstrating a breach usually requires expert testimony. Medical experts compare the provider’s actions to the accepted standard of care and explain how the provider’s conduct deviated from what a reasonable provider would do in a similar situation.

3. Causation

Proving causation is one of the critical elements of a medical malpractice claim. You must show that the healthcare provider’s breach of duty directly caused your injury or worsened your condition.

It’s not enough to prove that the provider was negligent; you must demonstrate a direct link between the negligence and the harm suffered.

This element is often challenging in New York medical malpractice cases, as the defense may argue that your condition resulted from an underlying illness or an unavoidable complication, not the provider’s negligence.

4. Damages

The final element is proving that you suffered damages due to the healthcare provider’s negligence. Damages can include both economic and noneconomic losses.

Economic damages cover quantifiable losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and future medical expenses. Noneconomic damages compensate for intangibles like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

A skilled New York attorney can help you understand how the 4 elements of negligence apply to your case. 

Navigating a medical malpractice claim in New York requires a thorough understanding of the elements of medical negligence and the state’s unique legal requirements.

With the right legal help, you can hold negligent healthcare providers accountable and seek justice for the harm you have endured.

Learn More About the 4 Elements of Medical Negligence

If you or a loved one recently suffered new or worsening injuries after obtaining medical care, your condition may have been the result of medical negligence.

At the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima, we have more than 25 years of experience successfully handling medical malpractice cases on behalf of our clients and their families, and we know what it takes to get your family justice for what you’ve been through.

To learn more, give us a call or connect with our NY medical malpractice attorney by completing our online contact form.

Author Photo

Theodore A. Naima

Theodore A. Naima is the founding partner of the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima, a Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Law Firm based in New York. In 2015, Ted was awarded the prestigious AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the company that has long been recognized as setting the gold standard for lawyer ratings, signifying the highest degree of peer recognition and professional excellence.

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