After establishing that a relationship between the patient and the doctor exists, the next step in substantiating a medical malpractice claim is proving that the defendant has breached his duty of care upon the plaintiff. Doctors, dentists, surgeons, and other medical staff are expected to perform their duties with the utmost professional care. As such, failure to do so would mean a breach of duty.
Medical professionals are required by law to act in accordance with the medical standard of care. A standard of care is established based on what an average professionally and medically reasonable physician would do in certain situations. Falling short of adhering with this convention of care, in turn, could mean that the doctor has been negligent in taking care of the plaintiff.