Suffering an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional is the general definition of medical malpractice. However, it takes more than saying your doctor hurt you to successfully win this type of case.

According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, you must show the doctor acted outside of professional standards.

Elements

To show the doctor or other medical professional deviated from the standard of care or did something that another professional in the same instance would not have done, you must prove several elements. You have to show that your caregiver should have known that what he or she was doing could cause you harm.

You also must prove that the person had a duty to provide you with medical care and he or she breached that duty in some way. You must provide sufficient evidence as to how the breach occurred as well.

Finally, you have to show that you not only suffered an injury as a result of the person’s actions but also that you incurred damages as a result.

Standard of care

The standard of care is the generally accepted standards used by medical professionals. For instance, most doctors will not prescribe you antibiotics for a cold virus. This is the standard of care for the common cold. Medical professionals should know and understand the standard of care, and while they may have to deviate from it on some occasions, that should only happen with care and evidence that straying from the standard of care is what is in your best interests as the patient.