What is Liability in a Personal Injury or Medical Malpractice Cases?

Claim form to start proving liability in personal injury cases

If you have been injured or harmed due to the negligence or misconduct of others, you may be entitled to seek compensation through personal injury or medical malpractice claims with the help of an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. Establishing liability is a crucial aspect of these cases; it determines who should be held responsible for the injuries and who should provide fair compensation for the damages incurred.

Liability in Personal Injury Cases

In a personal injury case, liability refers to the legal responsibility of a person or entity for causing harm or injury to another person. To establish liability, the following elements need to be proven by your personal injury attorney:

Duty of Care

The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. This means they had a legal obligation to act reasonably and avoid causing harm.

Breach of Duty

It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently or engaging in wrongful conduct.


The plaintiff must establish a causal connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injuries suffered. They must show that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused their harm.


Personal injury victims must demonstrate that they have suffered actual damages, such as injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases

In medical malpractice cases, liability focuses on the duty of care owed by healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, and hospitals. Proving liability in medical malpractice cases involves the following elements:

Doctor-Patient Relationship

It must be established that a doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning the healthcare professional agreed to provide medical care or treatment to the patient.

Standard of Care

The plaintiff must demonstrate that the healthcare professional breached the standard of care. This standard refers to the level of care and skill that a reasonably competent healthcare professional in the same field of medical treatment would provide under similar circumstances.


The plaintiff must establish a direct causal link between the healthcare professional’s breach of the standard of care and the injuries or harm suffered by the patient.


The plaintiff must show that they have suffered harm or damages as a result of the healthcare professional’s negligence or misconduct. This can include physical injuries, worsened medical condition, additional medical bills, loss of income, or emotional distress.

These standards of proof became paramount in Nevada with the ruling in the case Perez v. Las Vegas Medical Center, 107 Nev. 1, 4, 805 P.2d 589, 590 (1991).

In a personal injury claim or medical malpractice case, liability is an enforceable claim against another party’s assets for damages caused by negligence or intentional misconduct. There are several liability theories in tort law that you might pursue after an accident or injury.

However, not all liability theories apply in all injury cases. The type of liability used in injury claims depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.

Common Injury Claims That We Bring to Court on Behalf of Our Clients

Although, it is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be an alternative or additional claim that may apply to your case, here are some common claims:


Negligence is a common theory in personal injury cases. It requires proving that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused injury or harm to the plaintiff as a result of their breach.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases involve negligence or wrongful acts by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or hospitals, that result in injury or harm to a patient. These cases often require expert testimony to establish the standard of care and the defendant’s deviation from it.

Strict Liability

Strict liability holds defendants responsible for injuries caused by inherently dangerous activities or products, regardless of their level of care or intent. This theory is often applied in cases involving defective products or hazardous substances.

Respondeat Superior

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for the negligent acts of its employees if those acts occurred within the scope of their employment. This theory is often relevant in cases involving medical professionals employed by hospitals or healthcare facilities.

Premises Liability

Premises liability cases involve injuries that occur on someone else’s property due to dangerous conditions, like not having enough security to protect its patrons. Property owners or occupiers may be held liable for failing to maintain safe premises or warn visitors of known hazards, such as when a floor is wet or an unmarked walkway may have an obstacle or be damaged.

Intentional Torts

In some cases, personal injuries may result from intentional acts, such as assault, battery, or defamation. These cases involve proving that the defendant intentionally caused harm or engaged in wrongful conduct.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims arise when a person’s death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. Wrongful death claims are brought by the surviving family members or the estate of the deceased person. In Nevada, the elements required to establish a wrongful death claim include proving that the defendant’s actions caused the death, that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, and that the surviving family members have suffered damages as a result of the death.

Personal Injury Law Firm With Experience You Can Trust

Understanding liability in medical malpractice and personal injury cases can be complicated. It is also crucial to getting the fair compensation you deserve. As a top personal injury lawyer in Nevada, Christian Morris Trial Attorneys has the experience and expertise to navigate these complex cases and deliver the best legal representation for your personal injury claims. Don’t wait! Get the justice you deserve. Contact us today at (702) 434-8282 or submit a contact form to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys.