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What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Clinicians provide life-saving medical care and counsel for many patients throughout their career. Unfortunately, even the most practiced doctors and medical teams can make mistakes—often causing severe harm to patients in the process. When a clinician or healthcare professional causes meaningful harm to a patient due to negligent care, it’s known as medical malpractice

“Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a clinician who fails to perform his or her medical duties appropriately,” says Gary Alan Friedman, a leading attorney at Friedman & Friedman. “However, medical malpractice law involves a number of complex rules—which can make determining which cases are valid in court more difficult.” To get you started, let’s take a look at some of the key elements that must be present to successfully file a medical malpractice claim. 

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Here’s a brief overview of the four core requirements for a valid medical malpractice case:

A Doctor-Patient Relationship was Present

To file a medical malpractice claim, you must first prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the accused clinician. Thankfully, this is easy to prove as long as the doctor treated you personally. This requirement usually only comes into question when a consulting physician does not provide direct care. 

The Doctor Breached their Duty of Care 

Doctors are required to provide an adequate level of care to all of their patients. To win your medical malpractice case, you must first prove that your physician fell below this standard of care while diagnosing or treating your condition. 

Their Breach of Duty Caused Harm

The next element in a medical malpractice claim is proving that the negligent behavior of your doctor directly harmed you. The key here is demonstrating that the clinician was not reasonably skillful and careful during treatment or diagnosis—and that this negligence caused you harm. 


Victims of medical malpractice must prove that they suffered significant damages as a result of the doctor’s negligence. Valid damages include physical pain, mental harm, lost work and wages, and additional medical bills. 

Examples of Medical Malpractice

There are several ways that a doctor or hospital can commit malpractice, including the following:

  • Misdiagnosis or non-diagnosis 
  • Surgical malpractice 
  • Birth injuries
  • Giving a patient the wrong medication
  • Failure to manage patient care

Don’t be concerned if this information feels overwhelming; medical malpractice law is complicated—but having the right attorney by your side can make your case much more manageable. By connecting with one of the seasoned medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman & Friedman for a free consultation, you’ll receive all the support you need to understand whether your case will hold up in court. 

Florida Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

In the state of Florida, victims of medical malpractice have a time limit of two years after the discovery of the malpractice to file a lawsuit. However, there are a few unique conditions that can extend this time limit. Reaching out to an experienced Florida attorney is the best way to determine whether you still have time to file your medical malpractice lawsuit.

Friedman & Friedman: Your Medical Malpractice Ally

If you believe you or a loved one were a victim of medical malpractice, contact Friedman & Friedman as soon as you can. We’re here to help you determine whether your medical malpractice case is valid—and aggressively pursue justice for the harm your doctor caused. Over the past 40 years, our team has won several medical malpractice cases across Florida, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

Feel free to reach out if you have questions about the status of your case—or if you want more information on the rules and regulations regarding medical malpractice in Florida. We’re always here for you.


Fri Aug 16, 9:00am