Certain relationships create a legal duty of care between individuals. One of those relationships is that between a doctor and their patient. When a New York resident goes to the doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of an illness or injury, the doctor has a duty of care to provide medical attention to the individual once they become the doctor’s patient.
This post will examine the duty that exists for a doctor when they take on a patient and what standard of care they will be held to when assessing whether they committed medical negligence or malpractice. No part of this post should be read as legal or medical advice and consultations with trusted personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers is recommended for readers with questions about this subject.
A doctor’s duty of care
Doctors have a duty to act reasonably in the care of their patients. They are expected to follow recognized medical standards for their practice areas and communities, and they are expected to execute their responsibilities in a reasonable manner. When a doctor’s actions are examined under the lens of medical malpractice, their conduct may be compared to that of a reasonable physician of the same knowledge and experience and how that reasonable doctor would have performed given the circumstances of the case.
Proving medical malpractice against a doctor
Establishing that a duty of care existed and was breached is an important element to proving a medical malpractice case against a doctor or physician. In addition to this element, victims of medical malpractice may also have to show that their doctors caused their injuries and that their doctors’ actions resulted in damages. When building a case for medical malpractice, it is important that a victim understands their rights and the legal standards they will have to prove to prevail in court. Their trusted legal advisors can help them work through their questions and concerns as they fight for the damages they deserve.