Standard of Care in Medical Settings

Victim of Medical Malpractice? Call (713) 489-0993!

Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers must practice according to the "standard of care" for their medical specialty. If they fail to do so and injury occurs, they can be held liable for medical negligence—and any damages associated with the victim’s injuries. At Hampton & King, our Houston medical malpractice attorneys offer free consultations to discuss the standard of care that applies to your case.

Start by calling us at (713) 489-0993.

What Is The Standard Of Care?

The standard of care is what a reasonably prudent professional in the same medical specialty would do under similar circumstances. The standard of care may be different in a rural hospital than a hospital in Houston. Proving that your medical provider did not meet the standard of care requires testimony by a medical expert. To prosecute a medical malpractice case, it is not enough to show that the doctor, nurse, or other provider failed to meet the standard of care. Through the use of expert testimony, we also have to show that the medical professional's failure was the proximate cause of injury.

If you would have experienced the same outcome anyway, there would not be a viable case for malpractice. No doctor is expected to be perfect or always find the right cure on the first attempt. Rather, the standard of care is what a reasonably competent doctor would do in the same position. Sometimes that means correcting a mistake or diagnosing a problem quickly, even in cases where the doctor did make a mistake.

For example, some common complications (air embolisms, esophageal perforation, compartment syndrome, ischemia, and spinal cord abscess) are the result of surgical or treatment mistakes. When these problems are caught quickly and corrected, the prognosis is usually good. It's when a doctor fails to pay attention, however, it can result in stroke, heart attack, respiratory failure, loss of limb, or even paralysis.

Conditions like Wernicke's Syndrome and bowel ischemia can result in permanent organ death and are especially life-threatening without early intervention. Wernicke's Syndrome is also associated with lack of vitamin B supplements during long-term IV use, which indicates negligence in the most basic standards of care.

Determining the Standard of Care with Real Doctors

Hampton & King is one of the only law firms in the Southwest to employ a full-time medical doctor and a Ph.D. nurse on staff. When it comes to determining what a reasonable doctor would do in the same situation, nothing beats speaking with a trained medical professional. When you call for a free case review, our Medical Director will evaluate your case to determine if negligence caused your injury. If the answer is yes, our medical team will work with your attorney to develop the case, providing professional insight while gathering testimony from specialists around the country. As a result, your case will be equipped to hold your doctor or hospital accountable in court.

To discuss the medical standard of care with one of our Houston medical malpractice lawyers, call Hampton & King at (713) 489-0993. We look forward to reviewing your case in a free consultation.