Medical Malpractice Standard of Care

When it comes to medical malpractice cases most people assume that malpractice occurs as a consequence of the injured party receiving “negligent” care.   However, injuries sustained in the course of medical treatment must in court be judged against a special “standard of care” applicable to medical providers acting under like circumstances.

Standard of care is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with similar background and training would provide under circumstances similar to those existing at the time of the injury. More particularly, in a typical case, the law as explained to the jury would be as follows:

In providing health care to a patient, a health care provider must use the degree of care and skill that a reasonable careful, skillful, and prudent health care provider would use under the same or similar circumstances.

A health care provider who fails to exercise that reasonable care and skill commits medical negligence.

Medical negligence may consist of:

(1) doing something a health care provider should not have done under the circumstances; or

(2) not doing something a health care provider should have done under the circumstances.

If you were injured as a result of a complication caused from a surgery was the injury something that would occur in a similar situation if another medical provider were involved and provided reasonable care? Or, was the injury caused because a doctor, nurse, technician, or medical worker provided sub-standard or unreasonable care?

Look, everyone expects the highest standard of care when they receive medical care and most medical facilities aim to provide that exact care. Yet, there are times when that high level of care isn’t provided. But whatever our expectations, the law does not ever require the highest possible care. The law only requires reasonable care. Think of it this way: if you happen to have an extremely rare disease that a local doctor might never be expected to see in their life time, how likely will it be that a jury will find that that local doctor should have brought the experience of the head of the CDC to the medical issue, when all the medical witnesses testifying say that they could not have made the diagnosis themselves?

That is right, who determines standard of care and how is that standard adhered to in each medical facility? Medical doctors.

The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation.