How Does the Standard of Care Apply to Medical Malpractice Claims?

Posted on by in Medical Malpractice

Going to the doctor in hope of getting better always seems like a good idea, but as it so often happens, despite medical professionals doing their best to treat patients, medical malpractice still takes place.

The term applies to the legal fault of a healthcare provider, physician, nurse, or facility failing to provide the required effort, or standard of care, that causes the patient an injury.

You can file a claim for insufficient competency or care from your doctor, but to receive compensation, there are some important aspects to consider and to prove before making sure you've got a case, as every situation is different, and circumstances diverse.

Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

The immediate result of medical malpractice is the catastrophic injury that patients suffer, being left unable to care for themselves, and adding permanent medical expenses into the family's account.

Medical malpractice death statistics are disconcerting, with a yearly count of approximately 250,000 people in the U.S., and between 3,000 and 5,000 only in Florida, while 2,000 cases are filed against physicians.

Some of the most severe situations that medical malpractice compensates, besides wrongful death in each of the cases, are:

  • Stroke: Financial compensation can cover past and future medical costs and wages, home care and monitoring, rehabilitation, and emotional pain and suffering.
  • Misdiagnosis: Ways in which someone can be misdiagnosed are of the wrong disease, failure to diagnose in due time or to identify a current condition, and confusing side-effects for illness.
  • Heart attack: Malpractice occurs when doctors fail to diagnose heart attacks, overlook the patient's medical history, misread test results and mismanage heart attack treatments.
  • Surgical errors: The causes of such errors include lack of proper preoperative planning, surgical failures during the procedure, and postoperative injuries.
  • Emergency room: Aside from misdiagnoses, E.R. malpractice includes delays and failures in diagnosis, improper management of treatment or a procedure, discharge of patients with serious conditions, paramedic neglect, contaminated blood transfusion, discharge of patients with serious conditions, failure to properly triage, and to prescribe medication, anesthesia malpractice.
  • Medical errors in children: Health providers who could be held responsible are: E.R. and consulting physicians, triage nurses, interns and students, general practitioners, family doctors, physician assistants, lab technicians, doctors at urgent care centers.

Medical malpractice compensation will cover medical costs, loss of income, physical and emotional distress, and wrongful death.

How to Succeed in Your Claim

Most medical malpractice cases depend on the negligence of a health care professional or failure of treating a patient, measured by the medical standard of care applied in the particular treatment harming that patient.

The four fundamental elements that a medical malpractice claim needs to prove, are:

  • Standard of care: The term outlines what is the expected standard from a reasonably competent care provider when conducting the medical procedure that may have caused the injury.
  • Breach of the standard of care: That the care provider deviated from, or failed to meet the applicable standard of care (they did not do something that a reasonably competent medical specialist would have done).
  • Causality: The health care professional's breach directly caused the injuries. Even if there is negligence, if this was not the cause of the injuries, then the doctor will not be found liable.
  • Damages: Proving what are the suffered harms and losses caused by negligence.

The first step we take when facing a medical malpractice claim is to conduct a thorough investigation of the care and to recover the maximum amount of compensation you are eligible for.

Defining the Standard of Care

The law recognizes medical malpractice as a specific area connected to the general sphere of negligence. Unless the medical professional failed to do something within the standard of care, there is no malpractice. This is also the case if they did provide improper treatments, below the standard of care, but there was no harm done by it.

More precisely, if there are people in the medical profession that are usually practicing a specific approach that eliminates threats, then this routine can be used in determining the standard of care.

Doctors can provide certain care depending on what they know about the patient and what medical equipments they have available, so this type of information, like previous health conditions or certain medication taken at the time of the procedure, needs to be disclosed to the physician in advance. Under the available facts, medical professionals may or may not breach the obligation to act with reasonable care.

How Can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help

In case there is a breach of the standard of care, you can pursue compensatory damages. If you or your loved ones are considering taking legal action, do not delay in consulting with The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary.

After we evaluate your situation, in case we proceed, we will begin an extensive investigation to collect evidence that supports your medical malpractice claim.

The contingency fee that we work on will be paid only after we obtain compensation on your behalf, so in the end, we will keep between 34% and 40% of your settlement in return for our legal services.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.