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What is the Medical "Standard of Care" in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical malpractice claims typically arise when a health practitioner violates what is known as the “standard of care”. The standard of care is a legal principle that defines the type and level of medical attention that doctors are expected to provide for every patient. Essentially, the standard attempts to define instances in which the treatment that was provided was inadequate.

For example, the typical treatment for a patient who is experiencing chest pains may include the administration of an x-ray to identify any potential issues. If a doctor fails to x-ray the chest of a patient who is in pain, and the patient dies from their condition that was left untreated, the doctor would not have met the medical standard of care. In a case such as this, the victim’s family could be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

How is the Standard of Care Principle Applied to Medical Malpractice Claims?

Basing a medical malpractice claim on the principle of the standard of care involves careful examination of the details of the specific instance, as well as medical practices in general.

To provide context in a medical malpractice case, attorneys often utilize expert witnesses to testify as to why the defendant’s actions violated the standard of care. Other doctors can explain how the plaintiff’s condition is usually treated, and why the defendant’s response fell short. The concept of the standard of care simply establishes a baseline level of attention that doctors should provide to each patient, and an idea of the type of treatment that is necessary for certain ailments.

The standard of care is an accepted guideline, but every patient’s situation is different. Recovering compensation through a medical malpractice claim involves and in-depth knowledge of medical and legal considerations. At Goodman Acker P.C., we have the legal knowledge and the outside resources to build a strong case for you. To discover your options following a medical injury, schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.

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