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Definition - What does Negligence mean?

Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care to avoid injuring another person. Persons injured due to the negligence of another person may have the legal right to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim.

Proving negligence

To win a personal injury case, however, the plaintiff or injured party must prove four elements of their claim. Specifically, they must prove the defendant or the offending party owed them a duty of care, next they must prove the defendant's action or inaction breached that duty of care, that the breach caused injury or loss, and the injury or loss was caused by the defendant's breach of duty.

If the plaintiff fails to prove any element of their injury claim they will not win damages for their loss. For instance, if you fall down in a grocery store because there was a wet spot on the floor you may be able to prove the store owed you a duty to provide a safe shopping experience and that you fell due to the wet spot, but if you were not injured you do not have a personal injury case.

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Proving negligence for a medical malpractice case will require the plaintiff to prove the doctor owed them a duty of care, that they breached their duty by not providing a standard of care which is expected by health care professionals performing similar actions in a similar location, and that this breach of care caused the plaintiff's injury or loss.

Medical malpractice can occur at any stage of medical care: advice, examination, testing or failing to test, reporting, acting on results of tests, or treatment. Keep in mind, however, proving medical malpractice or negligence can be very difficult. There is always a risk with any type of medical treatment. Just because you did not recover from an illness, the doctor made an error in judgment, or you did not receive the medical results you expected does not mean there was medical malpractice.

Common types of Medical Negligence

Thousands of medical malpractice claims are filed each year. Some of the most common cases are due to misdiagnosis, administering the incorrect medication, and surgical errors. Unfortunately, due to medical negligence, thousands of patients are severely injured or left permanently disabled and may be forced to file claims to recoup the costs of pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills.

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No-Duty Doctrine

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