The Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases
This is easier said than done. Generally, everyone owes a duty of reasonable care to those around them. For example, as a driver on the road, your duty of reasonable care is to obey the traffic laws and drive carefully (the "reasonable person" standard). For medical professionals, the standard is a little different ("failure to exercise the proper standard of care") and harder to meet. Health care providers must act in accordance with the standards and procedures accepted by the relevant medical community. Therefore, as long as the health care professional follows the relevant, accepted standards and procedures for a reasonably competent medical care provider in his/her medical field, there is no breach of duty and the health care professional will not be liable for any resulting personal injury.
This can become an important issue if the case goes to trial. Juries are typically made up of lay-people, not medical professionals, so it can be difficult for them to understand what the accepted standards and procedures may be. Therefore, expert testimony is used to educate a jury on what is the proper medical standard of care. The jury then decides whether this particular defendant reasonably fulfilled that standard.
A hospital that employs the health care providers may also be held liable for personal injuries suffered by its patients. The hospital has a duty to supervise the care rendered to its patients by hospital employees and may be liable for the violation of an independent duty owed by the hospital to review and supervise medical care administered to the patient. However, a hospital is ordinarily not liable for the negligence of a physician who is an independent contractor.
Be sure that you recover for all of your present AND future medical expenses, lost wages (if applicable) and pain and suffering resulting from your personal injury related to medical negligence. The safest course is to consult with an Atlanta, Georgia personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The facts and evidence need to be identified and preserved, and your medical condition needs to be carefully monitored. Contact the Law Office Of Sidney Weinstein, 24/7, for a free medical malpractice and personal injury consultation by calling 404-522- 3108. We can come to you at your home or any of the Atlanta, Georgia area hospitals including Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta Medical Center.