Are you the victim of a doctor’s mistake? You have probably heard the phrase “standard of care,” but do you really know what it means? In medical malpractice cases, much of the claim revolves around determining the proper standard of care, as well as whether the doctor or hospital failed to meet it.
At LawMD, our medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to helping patients and their loved ones get the compensation they deserve. If you believe you were injured by a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other health care professional, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone.
Many of our lawyers aren't just attorneys, but also board-certified physicians. Rest assured, we know the medicine and the law. And we are on your side.
Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex lawsuits in the civil justice system. Bringing a successful claim is a difficult and demanding process. You should not entrust your claim to just any lawyer or law firm. It has never been more important to choose the right lawyer for your case.
Contact us online or by calling (888) 695-2963 today. Your initial consultation is completely free and confidential.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To prove your case, you must prove every element of a medical malpractice lawsuit, including:
- The existence of a doctor-patient relationship: You must prove that your doctor was treating you. This means the doctor owed you a duty of care. In the absence of a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor does not owe the patient a duty of care.
- The breach of the duty of care: You must also prove that your doctor breached his or her duty to provide you with proper care. The duty of care applicable in your case is one of the most important elements of your medical malpractice claim.
- The doctor’s breach caused your injury: You must prove that your doctor’s breach gave rise to your injuries. One of the most common ways in which the defense attacks a patient’s claim is to insist that the patient’s injury was caused by something other than the doctor’s breach of the duty of care.
- You suffered damages: Lastly, you must prove that you actually suffered damages due to your doctor’s breach and your injury. If you didn’t suffer any harm, you can’t bring a medical malpractice case, regardless of your doctor’s breach.
The “breach of the duty of care” is a critical element—and arguably the most critical element—in any medical malpractice case. To prove that the doctor breached his or her duty of care, the plaintiff must first establish the duty of care that governed the doctor’s treatment.
The appropriate standard of care varies from case to case. For example, the standard of care for an emergency room physician is different from the standard of care that applies to an orthopedic surgeon. Similarly, it’s not appropriate to apply an obstetrician’s standard of care to a cardiologist.
Instead, the applicable standard of care is the generally accepted standard for physicians with similar skills, education, and training within the same medical community. To determine the proper standard of care, the court will look at the generally accepted medical practices used by other doctors in the same geographical area and in the same medical specialty. This typically requires testimony from doctors who are experts in the same field, medical specialty, and community as the plaintiff’s physician.
Don’t Wait to Speak to a Lawyer
Medical malpractice cases are tough to prove, and they are also bound by extremely short statutes of limitation. Victims of medical malpractice have a narrow window of opportunity to file a claim. If you suspect your doctor made a mistake, it’s important to contact a Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. If you delay too long, you will forever lose your chance to get compensation for your damages.
Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you have been injured by a doctor’s breach of the standard of care, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The medical malpractice lawyers at LawMD offer free case evaluations.
Call (888) 695-2963 to discuss your case with an experienced Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer.