The Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Claims

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When you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness and you seek damages in a negligence action, one of the fundamental requirements of successfully prosecuting your claim is that you must show that the defendant, or wrongdoer, failed under the circumstances to act as a reasonable person would, or to use the degree of care commonly agreed upon in society. With most negligence cases, that standard of care is considered to be that of an “ordinary person of average prudence” within society.

However, when the person who has caused you injury is a medical professional, that person is typically held to a higher standard of care, in part due to the extensive training that medical professionals have received, and in part due to the potential consequences of careless or negligent acts. Accordingly, in a medical malpractice case, there are specific questions that must be asked to determine what the standard of care should be. In most instances, these questions are asked of expert witnesses, usually produced by both sides at trial. The questions are:

  • Was the care provided similar to that which would have been provided by a reasonably competent and skilled health professional?
  • Was the care provided similar to that which would have been provided by a person with the same education and experience as the defendant?
  • Was the care provided similar to that which would have been provided by similar practitioners in the same medical community?

The standards recognize that doctors with different specialties may have different standards, and that doctors in different parts of the country may have different standards.

Contact Us

If you have been injured because of the wrongful act of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, we can help. For a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.

Contact Our Office

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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