Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

Phone: 410-793-4554

Toll Free: 866-517-4037

What does standard of care mean?

Doctors are judged based on a national standard of care. The standard of care is the procedure and skill to which every American doctor should possess. If a doctor is a specialist, then it is the standard of care for that specialty. This standard holds doctors to a minimum level of competency when treating their patients. These standards are set by national boards that govern the rules and ethics for medical malpractice.

If a doctor deviates from the standard of care, then medical malpractice becomes an issue. Doctors, just like lawyers and other professionals, cannot guarantee an outcome. They can only provide their expertise and best guesses on likeliest outcomes. Therefore, if a patient worsens after a procedure or has a bad reaction to a certain medication, but the doctor's actions were within the standard of care then no medical malpractice was committed.

For example, if you are given a dosage of medicine that is double what the standard amount should be for someone of your age, weight and medical history then the doctor violated the standard of care and committed malpractice. However, if you get the same medicine in the correct dosage but you have a bad reaction because 2 percent of the population is allergic, and there was no way to know, then the doctor did not deviate from the standard of care.

The way your lawyer would establish the standard of care is through medical experts, medical journals and articles. Generally, an expert in the field will testify as to the standard of care and will describe how a particular doctor deviated from this standard. In medical malpractice cases, it is critical that the attorney maintains good relations with a network of doctors because no matter how much your doctor may have messed up, it does not matter if you cannot establish a standard of care.

Take the time to research an experienced and respected attorney. Medical malpractice cases turn on the skill of the attorney and how respected he or she is in the field. Your attorney's ability to convince other doctors to sit as experts on their case is critical for your case to succeed. You may have an actionable claim; don't waste it on an attorney without the proper medical connections.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Office Location

Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

map and Directions