Standard of Care for Medical Professionals in DC
Medical malpractice suits are typically filed due to a physician’s, or other healthcare provider’s, negligent acts. Negligence, in cases other than medical malpractice, is determined by the failure to use the standard of care a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have used. However, healthcare providers are usually held to a different standard.
The medical professional is negligent when he fails “to exercise the degree of care and skill that a physician or surgeon of the same medical specialty would use under similar circumstances.” (Black’s Law Dictionary) The definitions sound similar, but they are far from having the same meaning. Medical professionals have such specialized skills that we hold them to a much higher standard than a reasonable standard of care.
In order to be found negligent, the plaintiff must show the physician’s conduct did not meet the standard generally accepted by other physicians in his field of practice, and his failure was the cause for the plaintiff’s injuries. In order to show the physician failed to meet the standard of care, an attorney may use expert testimony, medical practice guidelines, hospital policies and procedures, and state and federal regulations.
Medical malpractice law firms, like Johnnie Bond Law, may have medical consultants they can turn to assist in reviewing your case. The consultants are experts in their medical fields. This is a critical step in evaluating any case and the standard of care that should have been applied by the physician. It is important that you provide as much information and documentation for a proper review and analysis.
It is key that we do not confuse the standard of care with the quality of care. The quality of care includes the patient’s decisions with the healthcare provided, the total care received, and third-party payers.
Knowing medical professionals are held to a higher standard of care when performing medical procedures can help you determine if you require the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney.
You should note that some states are using the reasonableness definition of the standard of care in determining medical malpractice. This is evidenced through case law. You can trust us to keep up-to-date on how case law might effect your claim.