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Defining medical malpractice as a legal cause of action

Most Maryland residents probably believe that their doctors have their best interests in mind. Doctors look for the problems that cause their patients' harm and prescribe courses of treatment that are intended to alleviate those patients' suffering. Many doctors take these responsibilities very seriously and work their hardest to ensure that those under their care are treated with respect and attention.

Unfortunately, not all interactions between doctors and patients are positive. There are some doctors who fail to fully address the medical needs of their patients and who do not place patient care as a priority in their practices. When doctors fail in their duties to their patients, cases of medical malpractice can sometimes result.

There are a number of elements in a medical malpractice case. The first element of the cause of action is the existence of a duty of care between the doctor and his charge. A doctor must owe his patient some duty by agreeing to treat the patient for the medical ailment affecting the patient's health. Without a duty, a doctor is not liable to a patient.

Second, after a duty is established, a case of medical malpractice requires that the duty between doctor and patient is somehow breached. A breach can occur when a doctor makes a mistake, engages in negligence or otherwise fails to act in a patient's best interests. A breach is a required part of a medical malpractice claim.

Finally, a patient must suffer harm as a result of the doctor's breach of duty. Without harm a medical malpractice claim may not succeed. Although the three elements of a medical malpractice case discussed in this post basically outline the necessary parts of a medical malpractice lawsuit, individuals with specific legal questions should get more information to address their specific legal situations.

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