What Is a Breach of the Standard of Care in a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you are in the process of preparing for a medical malpractice lawsuit, you probably have a lot of questions. You may have heard the term, “a breach of the standard of care.” What does this mean? It is an essential part of establishing that a physician or hospital acted negligently. Remember, the most important thing in the process is to hire an attorney. It is very difficult to represent yourself, so you should leave that job to a legal professional.
Breach of the Standard Care
The phrase, “a breach of the standard of care” is actually an essential part of the larger concept of negligence. It is also a term that only applies to medical malpractice cases, but not broader personal injury cases that may involve negligence. Essentially, there is a standard of care that is expected of all physicians. If this standard of care is not met, that is a breach of duty. This composes the first two components of negligence. There are four components total, and each component builds upon the previous ones. It is important to understand them in advance.
The Components of Negligence
The four components of negligence are:
You already have a fundamental understanding of the first two. The third component is causation. This refers to whether or not the breach of duty directly caused the injury. Even if there was a breach of duty, it may not have been the cause of the injury. If this is the case, then the defendant was not acting negligently and is not liable.
The final component is damage. This essentially just means that the breach of duty had to cause significant and real damage. If the breach of duty did not cause any real damage, then there is not a case. Damage can include physical injury, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of ability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Your damages will likely also include your medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses.
The very first step you should take is to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Charlottesville, VA. It is usually possible to meet with an attorney before agreeing to hire him or her to get more information. Once you have more information about your case, you will know whether or not you should go ahead and file, which is when you should hire an attorney. Representing yourself is so difficult that even most attorneys will avoid doing it and hire another attorney instead.
Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into what the components of negligence in a medical malpractice case are.