The principle “standard of care” in medical negligence cases continues to evolve. In these types of cases, the medical expert witness provides the judgement to assure that meritorious cases are litigated on sound medical grounds while frivolous cases are dropped.
In Generate Revenue by Serving as an Expert in Medical Litigation, Dr. Vicki Rackner describes the importance of “standard of care.”
Both sides hire physician experts to perform a preliminary review of the medical record and answer three critical questions:
- Did the treating physician violate the standard of care of a reasonably prudent physician practicing in that community at the time of the bad outcome?
- Was the patient harmed?
- Was the harm a direct result of the violation of the standard of care?
The answer to all three questions must be yes to win the case.
In a case that influenced the definition of standard of care, McCourt v Abernathy, 457 S.E.2d 603 (S.C. 1995), Judge J. Shaw wrote “Negligence may not be inferred from a bad result.”
Our law says that a physician is not an insurer of health, and a physician is not required to guarantee results. He undertakes only to meet the standard of skill possessed generally by others practicing in his field under similar circumstances.
As Dr. Rackner notes, “Medical malpractice lawsuits are costly undertakings that are difficult to prove and win.” An impartial and knowledgeable expert witness is essential in the medical malpractice lawsuit.
Dr. Rackner is the author of The New Medical Mindset: How Physicians Can Think Differently, Reinvent Themselves and Thrive in the Post-Google Era. The former surgeon is a nationally noted authority in the doctor-patient relationship.
Contact ELITE Medical Expertstoday to retain a top level board certified medical expert for your medical malpractice case.