Most of our readers in New York probably know that medical malpractice cases can become complicated in a hurry, both for plaintiffs and defendants. If you are defending against this type of claim, not only do you have to worry about the legal process and the step-by-step nature of building a defense case, but you also have to worry about the end result – your ability to practice your profession could be threatened.
Many defense cases focus on the standard of care that would have been applicable in the specific situation that led to the medical malpractice claim. This is a legal term that carries special meaning, especially within the framework of a medical malpractice claim.
Standard of care
In most personal injury cases, the standard of care is defined in a fairly straightforward manner: It is what a reasonable person would have done in similar circumstances. Although simply defined, there is quite a bit of subjectivity there. In medical malpractice cases, that standard becomes even more nuanced – usually, it is what a medical professional in a similar situation would have done. That, obviously, becomes much harder to pin down.
Medical malpractice cases can involve complex terminology and descriptions of care and procedures that are not commonly known to non-medical professionals. And, there is a certain level of subjectivity in what is right for any given medical situation. Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals rely on their education, training and experience to make the best decision. So, defining what that standard of care is in your unique medical malpractice case can therefore can become the key to the whole defense strategy.