Basic Elements of Negligence Case

There are different types of negligence cases; however there are four basic elements of negligence case the presence of which will give privileges to the plaintiff in the court. In this article we will be speaking about the main elements of medical negligence cases. Thus, following are the four elements to be present for you to be able to pursue your legal actions:

Duty of Care

The concept of duty of care is closely connected with the activity the defendant is engaged in. In certain situations some people (professionals) are obligated to act in a certain way. In a nutshell, the defendant should have acted in a reasonable manner. And because we are now speaking about medical negligence cases, we most often refer to doctors and nurses.

Breach of Duty

If your doctor or the nurse have failed to act in a way another competent doctor or nurse would have acted, then you may be dealing with breach of duty on the part of either the doctor or the nurse. Of course, you may have heard about such cases where the doctor has amputated the wrong foot or arm or he/she has left a surgical tool in the patient’s body. Such cases demonstrate failure to act as dictated by the duty of care.


Causation is the third element of the four basic elements of negligence case. This is the point where you, as a plaintiff, must prove the doctor’s or the nurse’s or sometimes even the medical institution’s fault or malpractice. This means that you must find a connection between your injury and the act that the doctor or the nurse has practiced. The best way to see the connection is using the so called “but… for” test. For example, but for the malpractice of the doctor, you would not have to be double operated to remove the medical tool from your body.

Damage or Harm

The last and one of the most important elements of negligence case is the harm that the plaintiff has suffered as a result of the doctor’s or the nurse’s breach of duty. This means that as a plaintiff, you must prove that you have suffered some kind of harm or damage due to their actions. The damage may be either financial, or psychological or physical and so on.

Most negligent cases require the knowledge of different intricate laws and it will be difficult if not impossible for an individual to file such a claim without the help of a skilled lawyer. Your attorney will be able to help you gather the necessary evidence and document it carefully. He/she will represent you in the court and will do his/her best to win the case for you.


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