When going through the medical malpractice process, “standard of care” is a term that you will most likely hear very often. This is because to determine negligence in a case, a standard of care must first be addressed. This standard is the level at which the average medical professional would practice. If, under the same circumstances, the majority of other qualified doctors in the same field would have managed the case differently, then this may mean that the medical professional has breached the standard of care.
Just as employees do across all professions, doctors and other healthcare providers make mistakes. Just because your doctor made a mistake does not inherently mean that you have a medical malpractice case. This is where the standard of care comes in. Would other doctors have made this same mistake? Was there any way that the doctor could have prevented this from happening? These are the types of questions that will be asked when trying to determine this standard.
When medical malpractice cases are brought in front of a jury, the understanding of the standard of care is one of the most important things that the jury knows. This standard is based on medical professionals, not average people. Because the medical field is so complicated, something that may seem like an obvious mistake to a non-medical professional is actually something that would not breach the standard of care in the medical field. There are many more specifics and circumstances that fall into medical decisions that we do not see from the outside world. If medical malpractice cases were addressed without consulting with the medical professional community, the outcomes would not be justified or accurate.
A Quick Example
One example that is often brought up in the conversation surrounding the standard care is on the topic of anesthesia. When using anesthesia, there is always a degree of risk involved. Every person’s body is different and the doctors are not always able to predict exactly how their patient will react to this drug. However, this is normal. There is nothing that any doctor can do to completely abolish the risk that comes with administering anesthesia. There are some patients that, no matter how the anesthesiologist works, there may still be some complications that were completely unable to be predicted. These complications were not a result of a breach of the standard of care, meaning that there would be no valid medical malpractice options.
How does this affect you?
If you have been injured or fallen ill due to the negligence of a medical professional, you should be working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney like the ones on the team at Finney Law Office, LLC. While they will be dealing with the legal side of things, it is also important that you understand the process to an extent. One of the biggest things to understand when entering a medical malpractice lawsuit is the idea of the standard of care.
Looking at your situation, you can begin to ask yourself some questions. Was there a mistake that was made? Could this mistake have been prevented? If you went to a different doctor, would this mistake likely have happened? Was this mistake the result of negligence?
These are the types of questions that your attorney will begin to assess, but by thinking about them yourself and beginning to question the standard of care, this process can go even more smoothly. By understanding this standard and whether or not it was breached, you can begin to further understand your case.
If you have been injured or fallen ill due to the negligence of a medical professional or healthcare provider, you need to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Call Finney Law Office, LLC today to get started. In the meantime, continue to explore this guide to learn more about your case.
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