Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case in New YorkYou have heard the term “medical malpractice” and probably have a general idea of what it means. A doctor has done something wrong and caused injury to a patient. But what exactly must be proven to establish that a doctor has committed malpractice? There are four elements that must be proven in a medical malpractice case.

Duty of Care

This is the most straightforward element to prove. It must be shown that the medical professional in question had a duty to care for the patient who was injured. This can be established by a showing that there was a doctor-patient relationship.

Breach of the Duty of Care

To establish this element, it must be shown that in the course of diagnosing, advising, and/or treating the patient, the medical professional failed to act according to the appropriate standard of care. A bad outcome is not by itself proof that the medical professional breached a duty of care. There must be proof that the medical professional did not act as a reasonable professional in a similar situation with similar training would have acted. In failing to act appropriately, the medical professional has breached the duty to care for the patient.
Establishing this element requires expert testimony from a doctor qualified to testify about what the standard of care is. This is usually someone in the same medical specialty.


The patient must prove that a failure on the part of the medical professional to act according to the appropriate standard of care caused an injury. A medical professional may try to argue that the injury was caused by an underlying condition or prior injuries. An expert will be required to prove this element.


The patient must establish that the medical malpractice in question resulted in some type of injury. A court will then use various types of calculations to determine a monetary award that will make the patient whole again.
If you’ve been injured by a medical professional’s mistake, you may have a medical malpractice case. Contact the attorneys at Bonina & Bonina, P.C. We have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by medical malpractice. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits available. Se habla espaňol.