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Standard of Care Defined

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Standard of Care Defined

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Within most negligence claims there arises an issue of standard of care. In an auto crash case the standard of care is set by the traffic laws. For instance the traffic laws dictate that you shall not enter an intersection on a red light. That sets the standard of care by which all persons are bound.

Standard Of Care Defined By Codes

In other contexts there may be building codes or other codes that may set the standard of care. Those codes can be the basis upon which a case may be founded. They establish the standard of care to which the defendant is held. If the defendant has violated that code then that is evidence of a breach of duty by that party. If that breach then resulted in damage to you then you may have a basis for a claim against the property owner.

Standard Of Care Defined As To Professional Liability

The concept of standard of care becomes very important in certain types of professional liability claims. For instance, medical malpractice claims, legal malpractice claims or architectural malpractice claims. In those types of claims the plaintiff has to prove what the standard of care is. The standard of care normally is proven through experts in that field. For instance, if in the course of your open heart surgery the surgeon happens to penetrate your coronary artery. Has the standard of care for that procedure been violated? That is not something that I could answer as a non-medical person. Nor is it something that you could answer as a non-medical person. Nor is it something that a group of jurors could answer as non-medical people. They need to hear evidence from a medical expert as to what the standard of care is.

Standard Of Care May Be Disputed

The standard of care may be that the surgeon through radiology should have known where his catheter was going. He should have known he was about to puncture the arterial wall. Therefore he could have avoided it. However the standard of care defined by the opposing party may be different.

The defendant doctor will bring in his own medical expert who will state that there is no standard of care in this case and this was simply an unfortunate accident that happened. Furthermore there was no fault on the part of the doctor.

Guidance on Standard Of Care

Some websites that may assist in terms of defining the standard of care are the National Guideline Clearinghouse which is a government sponsored research tool offering research for medical care guidelines and standards of care.  In addition, the National Institute of Health’s PubMed is a huge data base of information containing journals and articles that may help establish the standard of care.
For more info about other medical malpractice related issues. Also see the other pages on this site and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Standard of Care Defined

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