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What constitutes medical negligence?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide treatment that meets the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient.

It is important to understand what constitutes medical negligence to protect patient rights and ensure accountability in healthcare.

Breach of standard of care

One key element of medical negligence is a breach of the standard of care. Healthcare providers should follow established medical practices and guidelines when treating patients. Negligence can occur when a provider deviates from these practices and causes harm to a patient.


Medical negligence also requires causation. The patient must prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused their injury or harm. This can sometimes be challenging. Healthcare providers may argue that the injury happened because of an underlying medical condition or other factors that took the situation out of their hands.


Patients must demonstrate that they suffered some type of loss or harm as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence. This can include physical injuries, emotional distress and financial losses. Generally, proving this can require further medical evaluations and evidence from receipts for expenses related to the incident.

Not all medical errors constitute medical malpractice. Healthcare providers are human and can make mistakes, but not all mistakes rise to the level of negligence. To establish a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the provider was negligent, which requires proving all the elements. Simply being unhappy with care is not enough to prove a claim of medical negligence.