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What Are the 3 Steps to Proving Medical Malpractice in Rhode Island?

While not all adverse reactions to medical treatments are the result of malpractice, some situations do involve negligence on behalf of the caregiver. Before you consult a medical malpractice attorney in Rhode Island, it can help you to understand what’s involved in proving this type of personal injury case. The three necessary elements are explained below.

Duty of Care

In order to pursue a case of medical malpractice, you must establish that the doctor owed you a duty of care. It’s usually enough to provide proof that you were engaged in a doctor/patient relationship with the doctor. An example of when this wouldn’t be true is in overhearing a doctor give medical advice to a third party. If you then take that advice and apply it to your situation, the doctor/patient relationship doesn’t apply to you.

Breaching a Duty of Care

Next, you must be able to show the doctor breached the duty of care. In a medical malpractice case, this involves showing that you received care that was not standard for patients with your same medical condition. Often, you’ll need a doctor to testify that the care you received was substandard. Since medical care doesn’t involve guaranteed results, it’s necessary to look at the type of care given to determine whether or not it’s in line with standard practices.


Finally, your medical malpractice attorney in Rhode Island must show that the substandard care resulted in the harm you suffered. This usually involves showing that a misdiagnosis resulted in the worsening of the patient’s condition. It can also involve a doctor failing to advise a patient of the side effects of a treatment, which later results in the patient suffering those side effects.

You can learn more about medical malpractice in an initial consultation with an attorney who handles malpractice cases. You’ll also be able to receive an evaluation of your case to help you determine how best to proceed.