that the doctor or medical professional owed them a duty of care
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    Negligence Claim Against Doctors and Medical Professionals

    Posted on:12/12/2015
    Doctors and other medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients to avoid causing them injury by wrongful acts or omissions. The standard of care expected of a doctor or other medical professional is that of responsible practitioners skilled in the specialty.


    In order for a doctor or medical professional to be liable in negligence, the patient or other person suing them must establish three basic elements:


    1. that the doctor or medical professional owed them a duty of care
    2. that the doctor or medical professional breached that duty and
    3. that the breach of duty caused them injury.

     

    The first question in a negligence claim against a doctor or medical professional is who is owed a duty of care. Doctors and medical professionals owe a duty of care to the people who they should reasonably foresee as being likely to be injured by their acts or failure to act. This means that patients and clients are owed a duty of care. So the nurse in charge owes a duty of care to a vulnerable elderly mentally ill client who lacks mental capacity and who is seeking to leave the ward late at night in freezing temperatures. Equally a nurse or hospital staff who is told by a patient that he or she intends to assault another patients woes a duty of care to the second patient, to take reasonable steps to avoid that risk coming to pass.

     

     

    Medical Professional Breaching Duty of Care

     

    An important issue in any negligence action against a medical professional is whether the medical professional broke the duty of care, that is, fell short of the standard of care expected of a medical professional. Generally a medical professional will not be negligent if his or her conduct is supported by a responsible body of professional opinion.

     

    Another important issue is whether the claimant has suffered injury as a result of the breach of duty by the medical professional. This means that the claimant must establish that his or her injury resulted from the negligence of the medical professional and was not attributable to some other cause.

     

    The injury suffered by the claimant must be of a kind recognized by law. The law allows claims for recognized psychiatric illness or injury resulting from negligence as well as for physical injury. The injury suffered must also be of a reasonably foreseeable kind.

     

    A patient who suffers from an injury as a result of the negligence of a medical professional can sue the medical professional for compensation. The amount of compensation will depend on many factors including the state law. Many states have laws that limit the amount of compensation that can be awarded in cases of medical negligence.


      
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