When you have a medical condition that needs attention, you may know far enough ahead of time to research which physicians may have the best reputations for carrying out the procedure you need. By doing this, you may feel more confident that any surgery or other medical treatment will go successfully. However, even the best doctors could make serious errors or act negligently.
You may have had the expectation that your doctor would do his or her part to ensure that the outcomes of your medical procedure are the best possible. However, you may find yourself among the numerous individuals who fall victim to medical malpractice and suffer serious negative outcomes. If you wish to pursue a claim against your physician, you may need to determine whether he or she followed the proper standard of care.
Standard of care
When it comes to standards of care in medical situations, the exact actions that adhere to this standard may depend on the situation. Generally, a doctor meets this standard if he or she carries out actions that most individuals in the medical community would deem appropriate for the given procedure. If a doctor chooses to perform a procedure in a manner that is experimental or inconsistent with the ways in which most other doctors would perform the same procedure, he or she may be liable for resulting damages.
Knowledge of the physician
The amount of knowledge that a physician has for a situation could also play a role in whether his or her actions are deemed unacceptable. For instance, a doctor with only general knowledge of certain conditions may not be held to the same standards as an expert in a particular area. However, if the procedure or treatment was relatively common in nature and did not require specialized knowledge, a general practitioner could not claim that he or she did not have the right skills for the situation.
Acquiring expert testimony
In many medical malpractice cases, expert testimony is often needed in order to determine whether a doctor carried out actions that met the standard of care. However, because many doctors and other professionals have close ties in the medical community, it is not unusual for individuals to hesitate when it comes to providing testimony against another physician. This does not mean that expert information cannot be obtained, but it could prove challenging.
Filing a claim
Filing a medical malpractice claim could help you pursue compensation if you suffered damages due to a doctor's negligence. Because these legal claims can prove complicated, you may wish to consult with an attorney.