When would a jury find a doctor guilty of medical malpractice?

A jury may find a doctor guilty of medical malpractice if the plaintiff proves that the doctor was negligent under the law. Some common scenarios that result in findings of medical malpractice include the failure to diagnose a condition, the failure to provide appropriate treatment for a diagnosed condition and an unreasonable delay in treating a medical condition. 
No matter what the particular facts of the case are, a doctor may only be found guilty of medical malpractice if the plaintiff proves the following four elements of his or her case: (1) that the doctor had a legal obligation (also known as a duty) to provide care to a patient; (2) that the doctor failed to provide the standard of care that a similarly situated reasonable doctor would have provided under the same circumstances; (3) that the doctor’s actions were the proximate cause of the patient injuries; and (4) that the patient incurred damages as a result of the doctor’s actions. If the plaintiff is successful in proving all four elements of the case, as described above, then a doctor will be found guilty of medical malpractice.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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