4 Necessary Components To Prove Medical Malpractice in Wisconsin

According to the NIH, “Medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.” In order to prove a medical malpractice case in Wisconsin, you need to establish four elements. 

Those include:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach
  3. Causation
  4. Damage

Without proof of all four of these elements, a compensation claim can be lost. Here is more about how each of these elements works in court.

Duty and Breach

In Wisconsin duty is defined as a responsibility to exercise due care. The crux of the definition is that doctors and healthcare professionals must exercise due care at the level of their profession.

For example – if you were to visit four different cardiologists you should expect that the level of care you receive for the same medical issue would be similar. Their methods and approach may be different, but you would be treated the same. Their duty would be defined by that experience as a group. 

If one of those doctors differed and the care received was so vastly different that it caused harm, then that doctor did not meet their duty to their patient. In short, the doctor did not live up to the standard of their profession. When that happens, the medical professional has breached the standard of care within their scope of practice.

Duty is what is due to the patient – the standard of care expected from the healthcare professional. The breach is the failure to provide the acceptable level of care.


Causation is the cumulative result of both breach and duty. It is the injury the patient receives because of the negligence of the healthcare profession or in some cases the poor design of a product. Most people may be aware of medical malpractice cases that involve cardiac catheters or hernia mesh.

Medical injuries caused by negligence can be physical – pain, suffering, increased injury, or even death. If you go to a doctor because you have a bad knee and the doctor performs a knee replacement, but they do not insert the mechanical knee parts correctly and the result is that you can no longer walk due to the artificial knee, then the doctor has caused you further injury. The original injury – the bad knee joint – is not the fault of the doctor, but the negligence of duty and breach have led to causation where the patient is no longer able to walk.


The court will determine the monetary value of damages – the result of the injury sustained due to the healthcare professional’s negligence.

The plaintiff is responsible for proving all four elements of a medical malpractice case. They must prove that the medical professional did not meet their duty and due to that negligence, a breach occurred. Finally, the person has the burden of proving that negligence was the cause of injury. Medical experts are often key to these cases.

Contact NGSW&B For More Information If You Suspect Medical Malpractice

The medical malpractice process can be challenging and nuanced. The first place to start if you or someone you love has been injured by a medical professional is to contact a personal injury attorney. NGSW&B can help you understand your legal rights and determine options for medical malpractice. Contact Us today for a free initial consultation. 

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