Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case

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Jim Leach, LC – Unhappy Golfing

If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, you may be wondering if you have a valid medical malpractice case. In order to pursue a successful claim, there are four main elements your case must prove: duty, breach, damages, and causation.

Our experienced West Virginia medical malpractice attorney Jim Leach can evaluate your medical malpractice claim for free. Call us today to discuss your case.

The Legal Duty of Care

Doctors and other medical professionals owe patients a legal duty of care – sometimes referred to as the “accepted standard of medical care.” This is defined as the level of care that an average physician, in good standing and with a proper educational background and training, would provide to a patient under similar circumstances.

One of our medical experts can help you define the accepted standard of medical care as it applies to your specific case.

Breach of the Duty of Care

In order for medical negligence to be established, you must show that the doctor failed to abide by the accepted standard of medical care, breaching their duty to you as a patient.

Sometimes, this element will be easy to prove: for example, if a physician left surgical tools behind in a patient’s body, this evidence is fairly straightforward to establish. However, other cases are more complex, requiring detailed interpretation of specific medical documentation and evidence.

The Presence of an Injury (Damages)

Without an injury, you have no case. Even if the doctor clearly committed a mistake, you cannot file a case against them if their mistake did not cause you any harm. You must establish that you now have an injury or illness because of the doctor’s negligence.


This element tends to be the most complicated to prove. The opposing attorney will sometimes try to argue that your injury was not actually caused by the doctor’s mistake, but by other outside factors. You must be able to directly link the doctor’s negligence to your injuries.

This is where having an attorney on your side becomes incredibly valuable. We have a team of medical experts, investigators, and other key resources that we will use to fully analyze every form of evidence in your favor, building a case that argues effectively for your right to compensation.

If you or one of your loved ones has been injured by medical malpractice in West Virginia or Ohio, please contact Jim Leach Attorneys at Law or call today for a free case evaluation. We can help you fight for the full amount of compensation you deserve.