Medical standards govern the practice and provide of medical care by physicians, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals. For example, every medical professional should exercise reasonable care and medical knowledge when providing services to patients. They are expected to apply follow health and safety standards that are appropriate to their level of education, training, and that is specific to their field of practice.
Another example of a medical standard is the requirement that doctors fully inform their patients of any risks before administering a certain medicine, treatment, or procedure.
The general standard of care for medical providers is based on how a similar qualified practitioner or medical provider in the same field would have acted in similar circumstances. Every state may have different standards when it comes to standards of care for medical malpractice. Also, each individual medical field may have different standards of care. For instance, an optometrist may be expected to follow different standards than a pediatrician (although standards may be similar in many respects).
The requisite standard of care is determined by three common standards:
A violation of medical standard is usually proved when the plaintiff is able to establish that the medical provider or physician failed to meet a standard of care that the physician owed a duty to follow and provide. Most medical malpractice cases proceed under the theory that the medical provider was negligent in treating the patient. The patient must prove:
To find that the medical provider was negligent and violated a medical standard, the patient must prove that the medical provider's conduct fell below a accepted standard of medical care. This can usually be proved by the use of other medical experts who are qualified in the same area of practice as the defendant.
Violations of medical standards can take many forms, and will again depend on the exact type of medical treatment being given. Some examples of conduct that would likely be considered a violation of medical standards can include:
The main rule of thumb is that professionals with higher levels of training may be held to more specific standards than other practitioners. Patients should thus be informed of the risks as well as benefits before agreeing to participate in any form of treatment or surgery.
Violations of medical standards typically involve some sort of medical negligence. Only persons who owe the duty of care to the patient can be held liable for a violation.
If a violation of medical standards has caused the patient physical injuries, they may be able to obtain a monetary damages award to compensate them for their losses. This will usually cover expenses that are directly caused by the injuries, such as additional medical bills, medicine receipts, and additional therapy. The hospital or physician may also become liable for additional damages such as loss of future income in serious cases.
The assistance of a lawyer is typically required when filing a claim for medical malpractice and violations of medical malpractice. You can hire a qualified lawyer in your area if you need assistance with any legal claims or lawsuits. Your attorney will be able to provide you with the legal representation and advice needed for succeeding on a malpractice claim.
Last Modified: 03-20-2015 04:38 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.