An injury because of mistakes made by a doctor or hospital can be devastating.  So, if you have suffered an injury because of a misdiagnosis, an error during surgery, or some other medical problem then you might have a claim against your doctor, and possibly the hospital or health care system where the error occurred.

However, every medical complication or issue may not be rise to the level of a medical malpractice case. Indeed, before you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, there are some considerations you need to think about to ensure that any potential lawsuit will be successful.

In this article, we are going to talk about the basic legal elements that are required to support a medical malpractice lawsuit.  If, after reading this article, you have additional questions about your circumstances, then we welcome you to contact us at Sowell Chakour.  We are experienced medical malpractice lawyers, ready to help you with your case. Call today at 1-833-MedMals or email us at

What Are the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim?

There are four basic elements to any medical malpractice claim.  They are (1) duty, (2) breach, (3) causation, (4) injury.  We will take each element in turn.

1.  A Doctor’s Duty of Care

A doctor owes what is called a “duty of care” to each of his or her patients.  It is essentially what drives the doctor-patient relationship.  Accordingly, with any potential lawsuit, you first need to establish that the doctor owed you a duty of care.  The standard for the duty of care is that the doctor behaved reasonably in that he or she is expected to act as any other doctor in a similar specialty would, in your geographic region.

2.  A Breach of that Duty of Care

The next thing you must prove in any medical malpractice lawsuit is that the doctor’s behavior fell below the expected duty of care.  Some obvious examples of a breach of the duty of care include when a surgeon leaves a sponge or other foreign object in your body after a surgery, or when the doctor fails to make an obvious diagnosis of your condition.

3.  Causation of Injury

There are times when a doctor might have made a mistake that could be considered a breach of the duty of care, like a misdiagnosis, but that mistake was not the cause of your injury.  Therefore, causation is a very important element for a medical malpractice lawsuit because you need to make sure there is a connection between the breach of duty and the injury.

For example, assume that you broke your leg, and the doctor did not set your leg properly.  Then, you suffer a heart attack.  If the heart attack had nothing to do with the setting of your broken leg, then you cannot claim that the heart attack was caused by any malpractice on the doctor’s part.  That said, any injury related to your leg not being set properly would be grounds for a legal claim.

4.  Suffering an Injury

The final piece of the puzzle is that you suffered actual injury as a result of a doctor’s malpractice.  Part of any medical malpractice case is proving the damages, economic or otherwise, that you suffered because of a doctor’s breach of duty.


So there you have it:  the basic building blocks of any medical malpractice lawsuit – duty, breach, causation, and injury.  To ensure that you are compensated properly for your injuries due to malpractice, it is important that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.  We invite you to schedule a consultation with us at Sowell Chakour, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today at 1-833-MedMals or email us at   

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.