Most of the time, doctors save lives. Sometimes, however, a judgment call by the doctor harms the patient. Whether or not that harm rises to the level of medical malpractice depends in large part on whether or not the doctor met the “standard of care.” A medical malpractice attorney at the Montero Law Center can help you better understand this notion to determine if it has been met for a medical malpractice claim in Ft. Lauderdale.
What is “standard of care?”
The term “standard of care” refers to the level of care or treatment that another similarly situated doctor would have provided. This is a basic standard for professionalism in the medical field that “any” reasonable doctor would reasonably have shown to a patient with the same or similar conditions as the one they treated. Or, in other words, if the doctor in question behaved in a way to be expected of other doctors under the circumstances, then regardless of the result, the actions of the doctor may not have been unreasonable.
Another way to think about it is to evaluate whether the doctor was negligent in some way or failed to do what another reasonable medical professional in his circumstances would have done. If not, then his actions met the generally accepted standard of care. If so, then an action may be brought.
How do you prove medical malpractice?
To be eligible to file a claim for medical malpractice, an injured party has to prove:
- That there was a duty owed by a doctor to the patient (the injured party in question)
- That the duty of care was not met and that the doctor or healthcare professional failed to behave as a reasonable medical professional would have under the circumstances
- That because of that failure to meet the standard of care, the patient was injured. Think of this as the necessary link in the “but for” chain. But for the doctor’s actions, would the injury still have happened?
- That the injured party was, in fact, injured or harmed in some way.
In order to prove all of these essential elements of the case, the injured party (or plaintiff) is going to need to present evidence of both what the standard of care would or should have been and how another doctor or medical professional’s approach would have differed. Expert testimony that identifies precisely where the medical professionals in question failed to act reasonably under the circumstances and a full set of medical records will be helpful in your case.
A medical malpractice attorney at the Montero Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale can help you retrieve the evidence you need and argue your case. Contact us at 954-767-2690 to schedule a free consultation.