How does standard of care relate to medical malpractice cases?

If a New York resident suspects they have left a hospital with a worsened condition than what they went into the hospital with, they may find that they have become the victims of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice suit means that a medical professional did not treat their patients with the standard of care owed to them. But it might not be clear to the victim what the term "standard of care" means. Understanding what the standard of care is can go a long way in educating one about what to expect from a medical professional.

The standard of care that is owed to a patient by a medical professional refers to the level of care, skill and expertise that is to be possessed by physicians in a similar community and acting under similar circumstances. What does this mean? It means that if a doctor did not behave in the way that is expected of someone acting in his or her field, that doctor can be held liable for any harm caused. Holding someone to a standard of care means that doctors are expected to act in a way consistent with the expectations of the medical community.

There is a caveat of general or specialized knowledge. For example, a general physician will be expected to have a basic skill and knowledge of treating general or recurring illnesses, and a specialist cannot argue that the general physician should have done what the specialist would have done. Additionally, under the locality rule, a specialist in a private practice in a small town cannot be held to the same standard of care as a specialist in a university teaching hospital with the latest technology.

Even where it might be clear that someone has breached the standard of care owed to a patient, it might be difficult to get one medical professional to testify against another -- the threat of medical malpractice often causes the medical community to close ranks. But an experienced attorney knows various strategies to get the ball rolling to get doctors to come forward.


How does standard of care relate to medical malpractice cases?

If a New York resident suspects they have left a hospital with a worsened condition than what they went into the hospital with, they may find that they have become the victims of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice suit means that a medical professional did not treat their patients with the standard of care owed to them. But it might not be clear to the victim what the term “standard of care” means. Understanding what the standard of care is can go a long way in educating one about what to expect from a medical professional.

The standard of care that is owed to a patient by a medical professional refers to the level of care, skill and expertise that is to be possessed by physicians in a similar community and acting under similar circumstances. What does this mean? It means that if a doctor did not behave in the way that is expected of someone acting in his or her field, that doctor can be held liable for any harm caused. Holding someone to a standard of care means that doctors are expected to act in a way consistent with the expectations of the medical community.

There is a caveat of general or specialized knowledge. For example, a general physician will be expected to have a basic skill and knowledge of treating general or recurring illnesses, and a specialist cannot argue that the general physician should have done what the specialist would have done. Additionally, under the locality rule, a specialist in a private practice in a small town cannot be held to the same standard of care as a specialist in a university teaching hospital with the latest technology.

Even where it might be clear that someone has breached the standard of care owed to a patient, it might be difficult to get one medical professional to testify against another — the threat of medical malpractice often causes the medical community to close ranks. But an experienced attorney knows various strategies to get the ball rolling to get doctors to come forward.


Drowsy driving remains a problem among many people

Drowsy driving remains a
major problem among many people, with some not realizing just how
dangerous it is. The tricky thing about drowsy driving is that it can
hit in an instant. One second you're feeling okay, but the next you're
too tired to be behind the wheel.

There are many reasons why drowsy driving is a problem, including the following:

  • It slows reaction time, thus making it difficult to make split-second decisions
  • Makes you less likely to pay attention to the road ahead and cars around you
  • Affects your ability to maintain good judgment

According
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one
out of 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while at the wheel
over the past 30 days. To add to this, tens of thousands of accidents,
injuries and deaths are related to drowsy driving every year.

Who drives drowsy?

Anyone
can fall prey to drowsy driving, so it's critical to keep a close watch
on your level of alertness at all times. Some of the people who are
more likely to fall asleep at the wheel include:

  • Anyone who does not get the proper amount of sleep
  • Commercial drivers who spend many consecutive hours behind the wheel
  • Shift workers, such as those who work at night
  • Anyone who takes medication that could cause drowsiness
  • Anyone with a sleep disorder

Here are some of the warning signs that you may be driving drowsy:

  • An inability to keep your vehicle in its lane of travel
  • Difficulty remembering the recent past, such as the last few miles on the road
  • Blinking and yawning
  • Missing your exit
  • Hitting an object on the side of the road

If
you have any reason to believe you're too tired to drive, move to
safety and stop your vehicle. From there, you can make note of your
condition and decide what to do next.

Just as you can become
drowsy when driving, the same holds true of others on the road. If
another driver strikes your vehicle, perhaps because they fell asleep,
call 911 and let police take over the scene. Also, receive immediate
medical treatment and contact your insurance company as soon as
possible. Doing all these things will help you protect your legal
rights.