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What is the standard of care, and why is it so important?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Residents of Georgia expect to receive the expected standard of care from every doctor and healthcare professional they see. It’s important to understand the standard of care and its importance.

What is the standard of care?

When a person goes to the doctor, hospital or another healthcare facility for medical care, they expect to receive an expected standard of care. Standard of care refers to the diagnostic and treatment process that medical professionals are obligated to follow for patients regardless of their health status or circumstance. If the care a patient receives is substandard and they suffer harm as a result, it can be considered medical malpractice depending on the situation.

How does the standard of care relate to medical malpractice cases?

The standard of care is the basis for medical malpractice claims. It is considered the level of care that any other medical professional with the same training and experience would provide under the same or similar circumstances. It can be used to determine whether a doctor or other medical professional can be held liable if a patient suffers an injury after a medical mistake or negligence is committed.

In a medical malpractice case when the standard of care is not met, there are certain elements that must be proven. They include the following:

  • The standard of care that the doctor or other medical professional owed to the plaintiff was substandard considering the circumstances.
  • The doctor or other medical professional breached the expected standard of care.
  • The plaintiff suffered injuries.
  • The doctor or other medical professional’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

In medical malpractice claims, proving that the standard of care was not met can be complex. In such situations, a medical expert might be called in to testify.

If the standard of care is not met, it can have devastating results.