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What is the “standard of care” in malpractice litigation? P.2

Previously, we began looking at the standard of care in medical, hospital and nursing home malpractice litigation. As we noted, the standard of care is the legal duties to which a medical provider or institution is held under a specific set of circumstances, and against which fault is determined in malpractice litigation.

Plaintiffs in malpractice litigation are required to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the provider or institution failed to abide by an established standard of care. In many cases, particularly in medical malpractice cases, expert testimony is critical for establishing the standard of care. This is especially important in cases involving complicated medical procedures and cases where one party challenges a recognized standard of care. 

For defendants in medical, hospital or nursing home malpractice litigation, expert testimony can be used to call into question the plaintiff’s asserted standard of care. Competing expert testimony is sometimes referred to as a “battle of the experts,” and this is common in medical malpractice litigation. When a plaintiff fails to provide enough evidence to demonstrate the proper standard of care, their malpractice case is weakened and the accused provider or institution can more easily avoid liability.

For providers and institutions, working with skilled legal counsel is critical in order to build the strongest possible malpractice defense. This is true not only with respect to identifying, or questioning, the proper standard of care in the case, but also with respect to addressing other key aspects of malpractice claims. An experienced attorney is able to help a health care provider or institution to defend its rights and advocate its interests in the litigation process, and provide the best possible opportunity for a favorable outcome. 

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