Medical malpractice is a form of negligence. An Orange County medical malpractice action is taken against a health care professional. Most commonly, the professional who is targeted in a medical malpractice action is a doctor or physician, but such an action can also be taken against a nurse or a physician’s assistant, or anyone involved in providing medical care to patients.
There are four elements of a medical malpractice action that you and your Orange County medical malpractice lawyer must prove:
A doctor has a “duty” to meet the applicable “standard of care,” meaning that he or she must show the same level of skill that is usually found in his or her profession. Generally, this duty arises when a doctor-patient relationship is formed, such as when a physician agrees to treat a patient. In some situations, however, a person or entity may have a duty to meet the applicable standard of care based on circumstances other than a doctor-patient relationship.
For example, some jurisdictions require that a hospital provide care to anyone in a medical emergency. If a person’s medical emergency requires treatment beyond a doctor’s capabilities, the doctor has a duty to refer or transport the injured person to another facility that can care for him or her.
A “breach” is established in an Orange County medical malpractice action when a medical professional fails to meet this required standard of care. If a medical professional does not have the knowledge and skills of a competent health care provider, or if a medical professional does not exercise care in the application of that skill and knowledge, he or she has breached the duty between a physician and a patient.
For more information about causation and damages, see Elements of an Orange County Medical Malpractice Action, Part 2. If you have been injured due to medical negligence and you want to know if your case meets these four elements, please contact Orange County medical malpractice lawyer Samer Habbas for a free, no-obligation case evaluation by calling (888) 848-5084.