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What is the Standard of Care in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Published: Sep 26, 2016 in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

Medical malpractice is a type of negligence under the law. We call them medical malpractice cases because they relate to a person’s medical treatment and whether or not it was conducted properly with the patient’s full knowledge of the risks and with consent. When medical professional acts in a manner that causes harm to a patient, and their actions fall below the standards of a reasonable medical provider under similar situations, they are negligent. For more information about these elements in your own medical malpractice situation, contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer located in Alabama from Belt & Bruner, P.C. at (205) 933-1500.

In any negligence case, the person who is hurt seeks to prove that the other individual breached a duty of care toward him or her and that this breach led to his or her injuries. This means that every negligence case – including medical malpractice – must discuss whether there was a duty of care, the standard of that care, whether there was a breach of care, and whether there is a compensable injury. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys will quickly travel to investigate your case.

What is a Standard of Care?

Before we can discuss the specific standard of care for medical malpractice cases, it’s important to fully understand what we mean when discussing a standard of care. Under many circumstances, a person has a “duty of care” toward other individuals. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a certain way in regard to those people. One example is doctors and nurses have a duty of care toward their patients. Another common example is that all drivers have a duty of care toward other people on the road.

The “standard of care” is the way in which the person under the legal duty is supposed to behave. In a medical setting, the standard of care is generally described as how a reasonable medical provider would act under similar circumstances.

Alabama’s Medical Standard of Care

Alabama’s medical malpractice law is defined in the Alabama Medical Liability Act (AMLA). Section 6-5-548(a) states you are required to prove by substantial evidence that a “health care provider failed to exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated health care providers in the same general line of practice ordinarily have and exercise in a like case.”

You will need to compare your doctor’s actions to other physicians who practice the same type of medicine within the same or a highly similar medical community and have similar backgrounds. If your medical malpractice case hinges on how a cardiologist treated a heart-related condition, you will need to look to what other cardiologists with similar training and education in the same region would do.

Proof in Your Medical Malpractice Case

Alabama has strict rules regarding proof of a breach of a standard of care and whether that breach led to your injuries. You must have experts testify as to the standard of care and whether your doctor’s or other health care provider’s actions failed to meet that standard. The expert must specialize in the type of medicine at issue in the case.

Call the Alabama Medical Malpractice Lawyers from Belt & Bruner, P.C. Today

If you believe a health care provider didn’t treat you or a loved one with the care he or she should have, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. at (205) 933-1500 right away.



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