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How the Standard of Care can Determine a Negligence Lawsuit

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

The standard of care concerning malpractice litigation refers to the degree that a doctor or hospital staff member would treat a patient under the same or similar circumstances. In other words, it is a competent medical professional doing their job to prevent a patient’s pain and suffering as best as they can in all situations.

If there is an issue where the patient does not feel that a level of standard care is being given, then there can be a case for negligence. It is then necessary to contact a hospital negligence lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for assistance.

In Michigan, the legal concept of a hospital negligence case is the central interpretation in most medical malpractice cases and personal injury cases. This definition includes a recognition of “comparative negligence,” which stipulates that when someone fails to provide a typical standard of care, the damages are reduced in comparison to the plaintiff’s own negligence. The plaintiff, in the case of a medical malpractice suit, would be a patient with a medical condition who received treatment.

Elements of a Negligence Lawsuit

In the matter of health care, it is assumed that medical personnel has a higher degree of competence than the average person stopping to give assistance on a road or walkway. Therefore doctors and nurses and hospitals need to maintain clear communication with patients, adhere to strict protocols when administering care, and seek outside resources and consultations when they need help.

In some cases a hospital can be at fault of a low standard of care.
For example, poor scheduling may result in an insufficient number of doctors on duty during a shift, resulting in a lower standard of care.

In Michigan, there are very distinct requirements to claim negligence.
The first thing that has to be established is that the patient (plaintiff) was a patient under the care of the physician (defendant).

Secondly, there must also be proof that the defendant displayed a “breach of duty” by not performing up to the expected standards and was ultimately negligent.

Third, did the negligence cause harm to the patient, and if there was harm as a result of hospital negligence, was the harm serious enough where compensation for punitive damages is required.

Care Standards that are often Cited

Unfortunately, there are numerous instances where medical staff, hospitals, and various emergency room errors may fail to meet standards of care. In fact, the Leapfrog organization is an independent group that evaluates hospitals on the level of consistency when meeting standards. Some of the areas where a hospital or physician may need improvement will fall into these categories.

Doctors can occasionally failure to diagnose the medical problem leading to unnecessary procedures and adverse reactions from the patient or in extreme cases, wrongful death. Also, there could be an inappropriate choice of treatment even when the diagnosis is correct or errors in the implementation of the treatments. These call for medical malpractice attorneys to help you earn compensation for any future earnings you may have missed while being away from work.
There can also be mistakes prescribing or administering the correct medications.

Often incomplete or non-scheduled follow-up care can also be determined as below standard. One of the most common violations is the failure to receive informed consent from the patient before the treatment is performed.

Standard of care in Michigan

Final Thoughts

There is a recognized standard of care in Michigan. If hospitals and doctors breech this standard, causing injury or death, a medical malpractice lawsuit is often the result.
We at the law firm of Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. have a great deal of experience understanding cases involving these medical malpractice claims.

IIf you think that you or a family member are a victim of the failure of a medical institution to meet expected standards of care, then we can help you regain lost wages. Contact us at 866-MICH-LAW. We are always available for a free consultation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Tristan is a professional writer and had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher's union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.



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