Medical Malpractice


Welcome to Lawshelf’s video course on Medical Malpractice. This area of law is one of the most lucrative and controversial areas of personal injury law practice. It’s the reason doctors pay such high rates for malpractice insurance, but also the reason patients are protected from preventable injuries during treatment. This is an introductory-level course, though some prior exposure to basic tort and negligence law is helpful.

The course begins with medical malpractice causes of action and the duties owed by medical professionals to their patients. We’ll focus on the duty element of negligence torts by discussing responsibilities to patients and third parties. We’ll also focus on the informed consent requirement for medical treatment, the linchpin of many malpractice actions.

In module 2, we’ll discuss the application of the duty of care and to what standards doctors are held. These standards have changed over time, as has the law’s view on whether the location of the practice is relevant to the expected level of competence. We’ll look at these developments and relevant case law.

Next, we turn to causation. Multiple factors may contribute to an injury and determining which cause is responsible can be complex. We’ll also look at other limitations on malpractice actions including time limitations, contributory negligence and assumption of risk.

In module 4, we’ll turn to litigation considerations. We’ll look the role of the malpractice insurer in the process and at the process for bringing malpractice actions. We’ll also focus on the negotiation process, including common methods of alternative dispute resolution in malpractice cases such as mediation and arbitration.

In our last module, we’ll look at the liability of the healthcare institution for the negligence of providers working in their facilities. We’ll discuss the general rule of respondent superior that makes employers liable for employees’ torts. But we’ll also discuss the cases in which hospitals and clinics can be liable for independent providers who work there as contractors. We’ll also look at alternative sources of liability such as product liability and breach of contract. Finally, we’ll briefly look at medical malpractice reform efforts and some examples of such rules.

This course will provide you with an understanding of the context of medical malpractice actions and help prepare you to participate in malpractice claims or actions.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

The Doctor-Patient Relationship - Module 1 of 5

Standard of Care - Module 2 of 5

Causation, Defenses, and Damages - Module 3 of 5

Lawsuits and the Role of Insurance - Module 4 of 5

Liability of Health Care Institutions - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.