medical malpractice

New York Medical Malpractice Standard of Care

By David Hammond

We trust our medical care providers with our health and well-being. Medical care providers are subject to a legal standard of care they owe a duty to their patients to provide. When a medical care provider fails to uphold this standard of care and a patient suffers as a result, then they may be held legally liable for the patient’s damages in a medical malpractice action. The failure to meet the standard of care is a critical element to a malpractice claim as it represents a violation of a legal duty, a central element to finding a health care professional negligent and, thus, subject to legal liability. Let’s take a look at how New York views the medical malpractice standard of care.

What Is the “Standard of Care” in New York?

The fact is that there is no single, definitive definition of “standard of care” for medical malpractice purposes. The nuances surrounding the standard of care are constantly growing and changing. There is also the fact that the standard will vary based on a number of different factors, including the particular medical situation at hand.

To look for guidance as to what standard of care your medical provider is held to, you can look to both formal guidelines and informal guidelines that have been established and accepted in the medical community regarding what treatment is appropriate for a particular disease or condition. There may be variations in these guidelines among different geographical areas and so you should be sure to look to the guidelines pertaining to the geographical area in which you sought or are seeking treatment.

The level of training and education of your medical provider can further impact the standard of care. You see, those with higher levels of training and education are likely to be held to a higher standard of care than others. Generally speaking, a medical provider will be found in compliance with the applicable standard of care if a similarly situated, similarly trained medical provider in a comparable geographical area would provide similar treatment under the same circumstances.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, determining the standard of care and whether or not it was met in a certain situation will depend a lot on the testimony of expert witnesses. These witnesses will likely be medical professionals that possess similar education, training, experience, and skill as the defendant in the lawsuit. They will likely testify as to what they believe the standard of care is in the medical situation that is the subject of the lawsuit. They may be called on to point out how a certain treatment path fell below the standard of care. The expert witness may also be asked about how the patient suffered as a result of the treatment that fell below the standard of care.

Central New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you have suffered as a result of substandard medical care, time is of the essence to pursue your legal right to compensation for the harm you have incurred as a result. Do not delay in reaching out to the trusted medical malpractice legal team at CDH Law. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.