Medical Standard of Care & How It Relates to Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice case outcomes hinge on whether the standard of care was met or not. Below is an explanation about standard of care and what it means for a patient and for a medical malpractice suit.

The definition of Standard Care according to is, “the level at which the average, prudent provider in a given community would practice. It is how similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances. The medical malpractice plaintiff attorney must establish the appropriate standard of care and demonstrate that the standard of care has been breached.”

It was famously described in Vaughn v. Menlove (1837) as whether the individual “proceed[ed] with such reasonable caution as a prudent man would have exercised under such circumstances.”

Essentially no matter how you word it, the standard of care is a medical treatment guideline in which you can measure all medical professionals and care against. The standard of care is important because this is the measure that is used when determining whether a medical or healthcare professional is liable for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice suits are brought upon healthcare professionals when errors occur.   When there are breaches in the standard of care, most often these lead to errors in treatment and are cause for harm, injury or death and a lawsuit.  Errors can range from not documenting important medical histories, prescription errors, surgical errors and even prevention errors.

The standard of care changes all the time due to new medical practices, news, technologies and outcomes of medical malpractice and product liability cases.  It’s difficult at best for an attorney to stay up to date with the standards of care and suggested that they should hire a professional to help them decipher the standards while they concentrate on the legalities of the case.

LNC’s are experts when it comes to the standard of care. Having the expert eye of a Legal Nurse Consultant review the medical report will allow for easy determination of whether a breach has occurred and if your case has merit. 


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