Negligence In Healthcare

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Negligence in Healthcare HSA515 Prof. Hunter Oct 19, 2011 Identify and explain the four elements of proof necessary for a plaintiff to prove a negligence case. When a negligence case is brought against a physician there are four elements of proof that are necessary for a plaintiff to prove a negligence case. The elements are duty, breach of duty, causation and damages. All elements must be proven in order for the case to be won in favor of the plaintiff; if only some of the elements are proven the case will still not hold up. The outcomes of some negligence cases depend on whether the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. Such a duty arises when the law recognizes a relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff, and due to this relationship, the defendant is obligated to act in a certain manner toward the plaintiff. A judge, rather than a jury, ordinarily determines whether a defendant owed a duty of care to a plaintiff. Where a reasonable person would find that a duty exists under a particular set of circumstances, the court will generally find that such a duty exists. A defendant is liable for negligence when the defendant breaches the duty that the defendant owes to the plaintiff. A defendant breaches such a duty by failing to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling the duty. Unlike the question of whether a duty exists, the issue of whether a defendant breached a duty of care is decided by a jury as a question of fact. Under the traditional rules in negligence cases, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant's actions actually caused the plaintiff's injury. This is often referred to as "but-for" causation. In other words, but for the defendant's actions, the plaintiff's injury would not have occurred. A plaintiff in a negligence case must prove a legally recognized harm, usually in the form of physical injury to a person or to property. It is

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