The Reasonable Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases
There is a reasonable standard of care expected when you see a doctor or other medical professional for treatment. You expect your doctor to provide the same care as he would any patient and give you the full amount of attention that you require to improve your condition.
When this standard is not met, serious injuries can occur. Medical malpractice in this form comes from many different situations. It can be a physical mistake such as performing surgery on the wrong site, or a more complex mistake such as missing a cancer diagnosis that allows the condition to worsen.
In any situation where the standard of care is not met, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim.
Determining the Standard of Care
The standard of care is the level of attention, time, and effort a doctor spends on your care that you would expect he or she would give to anyone in your situation.
If you are seeing a new doctor for the first time, you can expect the following.
- Review of past medical history
- Asking about drug allergies
- Discussion of any concerns with your current health
Missing any one of these basic steps could result in mistreatment, being given a drug that you are reactive to, or missing a diagnosis of a condition that benefits from early detection and treatment.
There is a difference between a standard of care and the results of your treatment. It is not considered a breach of the standard of care if your doctor cannot cure what ails you, unless it is a commonly treated condition with a standard treatment procedure. In other words, if you have an incurable disease and your doctor does everything in his/her power to reduce your symptoms and halt the progress, you cannot find him/her in breach of the standard of care because they could not cure you. There are other instances when a physician makes an egregious error that another would not, such as in wrong site surgery.
How to Approach a Case of Medical Malpractice
When you believe a doctor has not lived up to the standard of care the first step is to seek the advice of another doctor. A second opinion can tell you whether or not you received proper care, or if your first doctor missed something significant in the care provided. It's a good idea to bring along any test results or medical records from your first doctor so the second doctor can see what their exams and diagnosis looked like.
Once you have a second opinion and are getting proper treatment, it's time to talk to a medical malpractice attorney about your case. You'll need to bring any medical records from your first doctor, as well as medical records from your second doctor that show the errors in your initial care. Your attorney can compare all of the records, confer with doctors as necessary, and advise you on whether or not you have a case of medical malpractice.
It's Never a Bad Idea to Consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
There's no harm in bringing your case to a medical malpractice attorney for review. When you think your doctor or medical team fell flat in providing a standard of care, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help. Contact the office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options after a case of medical malpractice: 404-474-0804.