Proving Negligence

Most people never think they will be involved in a medical malpractice case. If you find yourself in this situation, you probably have a lot of questions. One very common question is what is actually needed to prove your case. It may seem simple on the surface, but this is actually one of the most complicated concepts in legal cases. This guide will go over the legal definition of negligence which must be proven.


There are four components of negligence. Each of these components must be proven independently. They are duty, breach, causation, and damage. Let’s examine each of these in order. First, it must be proven that the physician who treated you had a duty. This part is actually quite simple. Every physician has a duty to provide a certain level of medical care to every patient they treat.

Next, it must be proven that this duty was breached. Essentially, the physician must have failed to meet the standard level of care that is expected of physicians. Just because something goes wrong and you get hurt does not necessarily mean that the doctor’s duty was breached. There needs to be some reasonable form of failure on the doctor’s part.

Third, the breach of duty needs to be shown as the cause of the injury. If the injury would have happened regardless of the doctor’s actions, then there was no negligence. Even if the doctor did breach his duty, it is possible that it was coincidental to the injury and did not cause it.

Finally, it must be shown that the damages you suffered were significant and real. This may not sound like much, but if you do not know the legal process, it can be surprisingly difficult.

Hire an Attorney

The very first thing you should do when undertaking a medical malpractice case is to hire a medical malpractice lawyer. You should not try to represent yourself. Arguing negligence when you do not have any legal training is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

More than that, however, arguing any case is difficult for the plaintiff due to biases. This is severe enough that most attorneys will choose to hire a lawyer to represent them, rather than representing themselves. If you needed one more reason not to represent yourself, judges typically do not like it. If there is one person you want to be on your side, it is the judge. You can likely speak with an attorney prior to deciding to hire him or her.