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Why the standard of care matters in your medical malpractice case

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Medical malpractice can leave you with more than one type of harm, and the damages can be extensive. You’ll probably have a worsened medical condition or a worse prognosis, and your need for additional medical care can be quite costly. You’ll probably lose more wages on account of your inability to work, and the emotional toll taken on you can be enormous. While you might be able to recover compensation for your losses, in order to do so you’ll have to prove certain legal elements.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Generally speaking, a successful medical malpractice claim must show that that a doctor owed you a standard of care and your doctor deviated from that standard of care, resulting in your harm. The question then becomes what constitutes the applicable standard of care. How is it determined?

Determining the Applicable Standard of Care

Under the law, the applicable standard of care is determined by analyzing what a reasonable and competent medical professional with a similar background and in the same or similar medical community would have acted under the circumstances. That might sound simple enough, but it can actually be a hotly contested issue. After all, a hospital in rural Mississippi doesn’t have the same medical resources as the most cutting edge hospital in New York. Doctors also have varying levels of education, training, and experience, which can affect the applicable standard of care.

Fighting for the Appropriate Standard

Since this issue can be full of conflict, you need to be prepared to present evidence that places the highest standard of care on the doctor and hospital you are trying to hold accountable. This likely means presenting expert testimony to convince a judge and jury that your assessment of the appropriate standard is best. Successfully addressing this issue takes legal know-how and trial skills, though, which is why many medical malpractice victims choose to seek assistance from an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.

 

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