When you have been injured because of the actions of another person, the most common legal theory used to pursue compensation or damages is the theory of negligence. Under a theory of negligence, there’s an assumption that everyone must exercise a minimum level of care in all activities. In a typical negligence case, the standard of care is that of a reasonable person—an average person of ordinary prudence.
In medical malpractice cases, though, the standard of care is different. Because of the training that medical professionals receive, and because of the trust that lay people must necessarily put in medical professionals, doctors and nurses are customarily held to a higher standard of care. Here are the basics of that elevated level of responsibility.
- Was the care that the medical professional provide comparable to that which would have been expected from a reasonably skilled and competent medical professional?
- Was the care commensurate with that which would have been expected from a medical professional with similar education and experience as the defendant?
- Was the care equal to that expected from a similarly trained and experienced medical professional in the same medical community?
As a general rule, these are questions of fact, to be determined by a jury. However, in practice, the establishment of the standard of care in a medical malpractice case is done through testimony from expert witnesses, typically professionals in the same field and same community.
At the Law Offices of Gregg A. Wisotsky, I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-898-0161. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.