Elements of a Mission Viejo Medical Malpractice Claim

There are many ways in which patients can be harmed by medical malpractice, ranging from simple misdiagnosis to more complex mistakes in the prescription of medication, negligence during childbirth, and surgical errors. Each of these types of claims has the potential to seriously injure or even kill a patient.

These claims also require a person to satisfy four basics elements to succeed in making a claim. The exact manner in which these elements are proven, however, may change slightly based on the unique circumstances of each case.

With the assistance of a medical malpractice lawyer, a malpractice victim could more fully understand these Mission Viejo claim elements, and accordingly may have greater chances at satisfying them before a court of law.

The Four Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case

There are four elements that a person is required to satisfy when making a medical malpractice claim in Mission Viejo.


Health care providers owe every patient the duty to act in an appropriate and reasonable manner. This connection between a patient and the healthcare provider is often referred to as a physician-patient relationship. For example, a patient who visits a specialist for cancer diagnosis has a physician-patient relationship with that specialist, who in turn has a duty to act as an ordinary medical professional would in diagnosing cancer.


In the context of medical malpractice, a breach is a failure by a health care professional to uphold the duty that is owed to a patient. In doing so, the healthcare provider deviates from their standard of care. In the example used in element one, a specialist could breach their duty of care by failing to diagnose cancer in a patient when another specialist in comparable circumstances would have done so.


If the healthcare provider’s breach of care resulted in harm to the patient, it represents causation on the part of the provider. In the previous scenario, a specialist could cause a patient to be harmed if the patient’s cancer grows worse and the patient experiences metastasis.


Damages refer to the specific harm that the patient experiences which is caused by the health care provider’s beach. Total compensation available to victims of medical malpractice is calculated based on this element. Legally admissible forms of harm may include additional rounds of treatment, more surgeries, and being unable to return to work due to the extent of the illness.

Important Steps After Medical Malpractice Occurs

For someone harmed by medical malpractice in Mission Viejo, it often helps to take certain steps that can give the case the best chance of resolving in a positive manner. These steps include the following:

  • Discuss with an alternate medical provider how to treat complications that arise from medical malpractice
  • Make sure the case is filed within the California statute of limitations
  • Receive an independent medical examination to determine the injuries
  • Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to oversee these processes and help analyze the elements of the case

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Mission Viejo Could Help

Medical malpractice victims are frequently placed in a very vulnerable position. Not only are the patients uncertain if they will ever recover from their medical condition, they are often uncertain about how they will pay off medical bills.

If you were harmed by medical malpractice, a qualified Mission Viejo medical malpractice lawyer could help. Dedicated injury lawyers are compassionate about medical malpractice victims’ unique situations while they fight tirelessly to increase the chances of obtaining a positive result. Call today to begin your claim.