Medical malpractice and the applicable standard of care

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

You expected your doctor to treat you with compassion and appropriate care. Now you’re either significantly injured or facing a worsened medical condition on account of his or her error. You’re probably angry, frustrated, confused, and scared for the future, especially given that now you’re dealing with newfound physical limitations, pain, emotional trauma, and financial harm that might seem insurmountable. This is unacceptable, and firms like ours are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Your first step in finding accountability and compensation is understanding the basics of a medical malpractice lawsuit to see if you even have a case. That might sound pretty easy to determine, but the fact of the matter is that medical malpractice cases can be extraordinarily challenging. This week, we’ll look at one major aspect of the medical malpractice case that can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case: the applicable standard of care.

Why you should care about the applicable standard of care

In short, in order to win your medical malpractice case, you have to show that the doctor who harmed you breached the applicable standard of care. The standard of care that will be analyzed in your case depends on a number of factors, but generally speaking your doctor is expected to carry out his or her job duties in a manner that is consistent with others in the medical community.

So, if you can show that a doctor owed you a higher standard of care, then it’ll be easier for you to show that the duty of care was breached. On the other hand, if the doctor can show that he or she owed you a lower standard of care, then it’ll be easier for him or her to escape judgment.

Contributing factors to the standard of care

Determining the applicable standard of care can be a highly contested issue. This is because there are a number of factors that can come into play. For example, you’ll want to determine if your doctor was operating as a general practitioner or someone with specialized knowledge, with the latter probably owing you a higher standard of care. So here, you might want to assess your doctor’s education, training, and experience in the field.

Another factor is geographical location. Medical professionals who practice in a rural town likely won’t be held to the same standard of care as a doctor practicing in an urban setting with access to the most sophisticated equipment. Therefore, this issue can come into play in a medical malpractice case with the victim often seeking to show that an errant doctor owed a higher duty of care than that argued by the doctor and his or her employer. While Missouri rejects a so-called locality rule, instead focusing on a national standard, access to resources and ease of travel may become areas of argument during your medical malpractice case.

What this means for you

All of this means that you need to be prepared to aggressively argue every aspect of your medical malpractice claim. The applicable standard of care is important, but so, too, is showing how our doctor deviated from that standard of care. Even something that seems simple like proving the extent of your damages can be contested and of the utmost importance.

In other words, you can’t afford to make any mistakes with your medical malpractice case. So, if you want to maximize your chances of success, then it might be time for you to discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney who knows how to fight for those who have been wronged.



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