- July 20, 2018
The Standard of Care for Medical Malpractice and What You Need to Know
Are you considering suing a hospital or physician for medical malpractice? Before you get involved in a lawsuit, know what you’re signing up for.
In Medscape’s Medical Malpractice Report, it’s estimated that it can take 1 to 2 years for the lawsuit process to run its course. A lawsuit can take a lot of time and money, that’s why it’s important to see if you have a case before you invest anything in it.
If you want to determine if you have a case, you need to learn about medical malpractice and what the standard of care is in the eyes of the law.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional doesn’t provide appropriate treatment or take appropriate action in a situation. They may also give substandard treatment that causes harm to a patient, injury, or death.
In medical malpractice cases, patients can choose to sue a specific professional or a healthcare provider. Doctors, nurses, hospital systems, and individual practices can be involved in a medical malpractice case.
When malpractice occurs, it’s usually the result of medical error. A patient could be misdiagnosed, given incorrect medication or a wrong dosage, or receive poor treatment or aftercare.
It’s important to note that medical malpractice can’t occur if a patient is simply unhappy with the outcome of the surgery. Harm resulting from inherent and clearly communicated risks in procedures also don’t qualify as malpractice.
What Is Standard Of Care?
Essentially, standard of care can be seen as the level and type of care that a competent health care professional would have provided under the same circumstances that led to malpractice in question.
Standard of care comes up in court when other doctors are treated as expert witnesses brought in to testify about the case. Doctors use their first-hand knowledge to determine if accused parties had been acting negligently in the case.
As an example, let’s say that there are commonly accepted dosage levels for popular medication used during surgery. If other doctors were to testify that a physician gave too much medication to a patient, the doctor on trial would be found being in violation of a standard of care.
What Do I Do If I Suspect That I Have A Medical Malpractice Case?
Before you make any decisions, take time to gather any information that can help your case. Take note of doctors appointments, symptoms or problems you’ve had, and the dates of prescription pickups and refills.
You may think that you have a case due to a suspected sub-level standard of care, but you’ll need a professional to help you determine that.
You’ll need an experienced malpractice lawyer to help you navigate the court system and get what you’re owed. Be sure to contact us today so an experienced medical malpractice attorney can get you the help you need.