In the United States, it is estimated that there are more than 85,000 claims filed for medical malpractice each year. However, this is a small number considering that there are about one million medical accidents that occur. From surgical errors to improper treatment, many times people do not know what to do when they have been wronged. They may feel violated, scared, and unsure of who they can trust to discuss their problem.
Following The Standard of Care
A doctor must follow a standard of care, and if they don’t follow these guidelines, then it is the basis for a malpractice suit. This standard is used to measure their work, and any violation of this is considered to be malpractice. To present a successful case to the court, you must be able to prove that the standard of care was not the same as what other doctors would have done.
The standard of care is a benchmark that is used to evaluate the doctor’s work. For instance, in a malpractice claim, a lawyer needs to prove that the actions of the doctor did not align with the standard of care. The plaintiff has the responsibility to show the court how the doctor violated this accepted standard and thus prove their negligence. However, keep in mind that the standard changes from one community to another, and it also evolves over time. There is no written legal precedence, which makes things difficult. To prove that the standard of care was violated, it must be proven through expert witnesses and the testimony of others.
How The Court Defines Malpractice?
A doctor has a responsibility to provide care for their patients, which is equivalent to what other competent physicians would have done, in a similar situation. The circumstances and resources are important. There must be a direct violation of the standard to be able to sue. A doctor does not have to rise above the acceptable standard to be acquitted of any malpractice claims. Both the plaintiff and the defendant can use clinical practice guidelines and the generous consensus statement to show if the standard of care was violated. Anyone that believes they did not receive treatment that met this standard, must do some research. They must evaluate the care that they would have received by another physician, at the same competence level.
Falling Under The “Best Practice” Category
The standard of care is not limited to just actions alone. It can also refer to the guidelines, both formal and informal, which are accepted within the medical community. There are certain standards that are used to treat a disease or illness. Did the doctor follow the medical communities’ protocols? These protocols may be developed by an organization or a specialist society, thus, the standard of care is at the doctor’s discretion. It may be a medical practice standard or an official diagnostic and treatment procedure a physician will follow for a patient with a specific illness or set of symptoms. That standard will follow procedures and etiquettes that specialists would agree are most suitable, which is also called “best practice.”
The National Guideline Clearinghouse
The standard may be developed in numerous ways. For instance, the protocols may be set after clinical trial findings, or they may be developed over time with trial and error. The National Guideline Clearinghouse collates all guidelines acceptable for clinical practice. By using their protocols, physicians can remain current on the standard of care for an illness in the area. Doctors can study from each other and find other treatments that have been successful.
If you or a loved one believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice, then you must make an appointment with an attorney right away. You must be able to show the courts how they violated acceptable standards and caused you pain and suffering. You think of doctors as your friend. However, they are human and subject to error too. But, when they make errors that cause injury, they must be held accountable. If you were hurt by the neglect of the standard of care you should have received from your doctor, then you may have a claim.