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The Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Claims

The Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice ClaimsIf you’ve been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence and you seek compensation in a personal injury action, you’ll be required to show that the defendant, or wrongdoer, failed under the circumstances to act as a reasonable person would, or to use the standard of care commonly agreed upon in society. With most negligence cases, that standard of care is considered to be that of an “ordinary person of average prudence” within society.

However, when you’ve been injured because of medical negligence or malpractice, the wrongdoer is generally held to a higher standard of care, in part due to the extensive training that medical professionals receive, and in part due to the potential consequences of carelessness or negligence in medical procedures. Accordingly, in a medical malpractice case, a part of the trial process involves establishing the appropriate standard of care, to which the defendant is to be held. There are specific questions that must be asked to determine what that standard of care should be. In most instances, these questions are asked of expert witnesses, usually produced by both sides at trial.

The questions are:

  • Was the care provided similar to that which would have been provided by a reasonably competent and skilled health professional?
  • Was the care provided similar to that which would have been provided by a person with the same education and experience as the defendant?
  • Was the care provided similar to that which would have been provided by similar practitioners in the same medical community?

The standards recognize that doctors with different specialties may have different standards, and that doctors in different parts of the country may have different standards.

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For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.

We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.

Prior results are no guarantee of a specific outcome in your case. Your results may vary based on your particular facts and circumstances.