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How does one determine if medical standard of care was met?

There is a reason we seek the help of professionals when it comes to our health. It’s because they are experts that are trained to give medical advice, recommend treatment plans or medication and even operate, if necessary. We trust health care providers because they are trained to provide health care solutions for us and loved ones. But, what happens when a healthcare provider, like a doctor, fails to meet a standard of care and that causes personal injury?

Most people are likely unfamiliar with what standard of care actually means in terms of medical care. In short, medical professionals and medical facilities are expected to uphold a level of skill, expertise, and care possessed and practiced by physicians in the same or similar community and under similar circumstances. Essentially, if a physician’s actions, inaction or decision results in injury they will be held to what a similar industry professional might have done given the same circumstances. Geographic location may be used to play a roll in determining the standard of care, but generally that factor is not considered.

How do you know if the standard of care is met in your own or a loved one’s medical care? Well, maybe approach it from a results standpoint, as in, were you or a loved one injured or did you suffer extended illness or a failure to diagnose after receiving medical care? If so, your treatment or medical care may not have met an acceptable standard of care. This could mean that damages could or should be sought by the injured party.

Damages would be brought in the form of a personal injury lawsuit due to medical malpractice. Proving a failure to meet an acceptable standard of care is one way to prove negligence. While a doctor’s or health care provider’s actions may not have been intentionally harmful, they can have harmful effects. Thus, damages can help to rectify the losses a person suffers due to unacceptable medical care.

Source: FindLaw, “Standard of Care: Treatment and Surgery,” Accessed November 20, 2017