Proving Negligence Because of Breached Duty of Care from a Doctor

By Gregory Poore posted 10-20-2020 00:50


We put our lives in the hands of a doctor when we need medical attention but if that doctor acts negligently or carelessly when treating you, they can be held liable for medical negligence. When a duty of care was breached, the plaintiff must prove causation, damages, breach of duty and duty of care.  


Causation is about proving negligence because of a breached duty of care that resulted in an injury. Proving this is referred to as ‘establishing causation.’ Proving causation can be difficult. It goes without saying that with every treatment or procedure you have, there will be some complications.  

So, to establish causation, the plaintiff has to show through a ‘balance of probabilities’ that it was the breach of duty that brought about the injury. 

Don’t go it alone 

People are inclined to think that medical malpractice is when a surgeon makes a medical mistake, when in fact, any medical person such as dentists and nurses can also be guilty. Negligence can take many forms – the wrong procedure, the wrong treatment and even failure to get the patient’s consent for an operation. 

If you have been injured, you don’t want to take on a doctor or hospital on your own as medical malpractice law is far more specialized and complicated than other areas of law. 

It is imperative for you to consult with a reputable attorney and as an attorney with expertise in this field of law, the Hastings Law Firm is available to help you nail the surgeon and get the compensation you need for all your suffering. 


Medical malpractice liability is incurred when you believe you received sub-standard care during a medical procedure or treatment. Liability may be incurred for breach of legal duty, professional negligence, the performance of an unnecessary procedure or something else. 

Damages relate to suffering such as pain, disfigurement and mental anguish, not to mention a loss of a job and no more earning capacity.  

Medical malpractice cases are mostly based on negligence and the plaintiff typically argues that the doctor never acted with the appropriate standard of care when treating them. And such failure caused damage to the patient for whom the doctor had a responsibility.


If a plaintiff wants to win a lawsuit for negligence, they will need to prove the elements, one of which is damages, as mentioned above. So even if you could prove that the defendant was negligent, you may still not succeed in your negligence claim lawsuit if the negligence caused you no harm. 

The jury has to compare facts and evidence in determining whether other elements were also satisfied, one of which is duty. The outcome of negligence cases may depend on whether the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. 

A duty comes about when the law recognizes that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and was supposed to act in a certain manner towards the plaintiff. 

Breach of duty

It isn’t enough for a person to prove that somebody else owed them or a duty. The lawyer will have to prove that the negligent party breached his duty to the person receiving treatment.  

A defendant breaches such a duty by not providing proper and reasonable care in doing their duty. When there is a patient/doctor relationship, there is the element that the doctor breached his duty to provide adequate care by failing to provide all the skills and care that any patient expects from a doctor tending them. 

Courts in certain jurisdictions will determine whether the doctor’s actions demonstrated the necessary skills by looking at the conduct of other physicians who are practicing within the borders of that state. 

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