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Medical malpractice and the standard of care

On Behalf of | May 18, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical professional, then you need to accomplish two things before you can recover compensation. First, you need to establish liability. Second, you need to prove the extent of your damages. Although it might seem easy enough to prove liability, there are a lot of legal nuances that might complicate your case. For example, before you can show that the medical professional who treated you breached the duty of care owed to you, you have to prove what that duty should have looked like.

New York’s locality rule

New York recognizes the locality rule when it comes to establishing the standard of care that is applicable in a medical malpractice case. This means that a judge and jury will consider the learning and skill that is possessed by similarly situated medical professionals in the area where the alleged malpractice occurred. This seeks to equalize medical practices in areas with similar resources. After all, it might be unfair to try to hold a rural hospital to the same standard as an urban hospital with cutting edge technology at its disposal.

Proving standard of care

The appropriate standard of care doesn’t apply automatically. Instead, the burden is going to fall to you to demonstrate which standard applies. Of course, you’re better off setting the highest standard of care possible, as this will make it easier to show that the standard was breached. This means that you’ll probably need an expert witness who can testify on standard qualifications and practices in the area where the alleged malpractice occurred.

Building your case with confidence

Medical malpractice can quickly alter the course of your life. But don’t let it ruin your life. Instead, be prepared to fight back by building your case with confidence. Given the legal challenges involved in these cases, that may mean turning to an experienced legal professional who may be able to help give you a leg up on the defense.

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