What is the Standard of Care in a Medical Malpractice Case?
NJ Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain Standard of Medical Care for a Lawsuit
If you suspect you may have been the victim of medical malpractice in New Jersey, a foray into the available information on the web likely revealed numerous references to the “standard of care.” You may be wondering, what is the standard of care? How does it apply to my medical malpractice case? The term standard of care seems reasonably simple, but it is among the most important elements of a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey. In this article, our experienced NJ medical malpractice attorneys provide important information about the concept of standard of care, how it is established, and why it matters to the success of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Continue reading to learn more about standard of care, and please contact the attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group for a free consultation about your specific situation. We can be reached anytime at 973-435-4551 or you can send us an email to arrange your free case evaluation.
Medical Standard of Care Defined
The medical standard of care refers to the type and extent of care that a reasonably skilled medical professional, with similar training and education, who specializes in the same area of practice or serves the same function, would have provided to a patient under the same circumstances. Essentially, the most important question involving standard of care is: “Would a competent medical professional have pursued the same course of treatment under the circumstances in my case?” If a similarly equipped healthcare provider would have adhered to commonly accepted guidelines within that medical community, provided a higher level of care, pursued an alternative diagnosis or treatment path, or followed a protocol that may have prevented your injuries, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
Notably, failure to provide an acceptable standard of care can apply to medical professionals and organizations alike. In other words, hospitals and medical facilities can provide sub-standard medical care in the same way doctors, nurses, radiologists, surgeons, and medical technicians can. All of these parties can be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit and held liable if failure to meet the standard of care is established.
How do you determine the Standard of Care?
As mentioned above, the standard of care is the amount and form of care a “normal” medical professional with the same experience, training, and specialty would provide under the same or similar circumstances. For instance, would a competent obstetrician with a similar background have done what yours did during labor and delivery? In order to establish the standard of care in a medical malpractice case, the majority of plaintiffs’ attorneys will call upon medical experts. These experts are critical to the success of the case and must be selected with extreme prudence. In fact, selecting the wrong medical expert to testify can lead to an outright dismissal of a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey.
It is highly advisable to enlist a team of medical malpractice lawyers who thoroughly understand the requirements for medical experts and have extensive experience with medical expert selection. Our attorneys have developed an extensive network of renowned medical experts, whom we call upon to construct the most compelling claims for our clients. With a concentration on medical malpractice law in New Jersey, our lawyers are well-versed in the nuances of medical expert selection and we use this knowledge to identify the expert best-suited for your medical malpractice case.
How do medical experts establish the standard of care?
When the best medical expert for your case is determined, he or she will testify to the ways in which your treatment failed to meet the acceptable standard of care. In most cases, the medical expert is a doctor. It is important to note that if your doctor was a specialist, such as a neurologist, anesthesiologist, or pediatrician, the medical expert should have the same speciality as your treating physician, with similar training and education.
The second essential function of the medical expert is to demonstrate to the court how the defendant’s failure to meet the standard of care in your case led to your injuries. When these two conditions have been satisfied, a medical malpractice claim has met its burden with regard to standard of care. The process can be long and arduous, which is why it is crucial to have a skilled New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer executing your claim with the precision required to obtain maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered harm resulting from sub-standard medical care in New Jersey, contact Fronzuto Law Group at 973-435-4551 for a free consultation or contact us online for more information.