Standard of Care Breach

Nationwide Cerebral Palsy Resource Network

The medical standard of care is a legal term that describes the degree of prudence and caution required of healthcare practitioners that have the duty to care for others. Standard of care is in part determined by what other practitioners would reasonably do if placed in a similar circumstance. When the standard is breached, broken, or ignored, medical practitioners or healthcare entities can be sued for compensatory damages.

Stern Law, PLLC has over 30 years of experience helping families who have suffered due to medical malpractice. For a free review of your claim, please call (800)462-5772 today.

What is a standard of care breach?

Unfortunately, one of the primary reasons why innocent children sustain traumatic birth injuries is due to a standard of care breach. Whether the result of a lack of experience or inattention, health care providers sometimes cause serious and irreparable harm to their most vulnerable patients. Despite the unintentional nature of their actions, these types of errors can have catastrophic results for children and their families alike.

The legalities surrounding the standard of care breach

In reviewing a case for a breach of the standard of care leading to actual harm to your child, the courts will review many different aspects of the case. The law looks at the duty of the caregiver towards you and your baby, the negligence of the person who allegedly caused the harm, whether the actions were the proximate cause of the injuries, and whether there was actual (quantifiable) harm. If these can be proven, then the wrongdoer can be held liable for the injuries to your child.

Duty, negligence, cause, and harm. This seems like it should be simple enough, but a standard of care breach presents some unusual analyses and complications because the standard applied is what would a reasonable practitioner have done, or not, under the same circumstances. In order to present a winnable case, the following usually must be proven:

  • Was the harm foreseeable? This analysis requires looking at the action taken and whether a reasonable medical professional would have known that the treatment or procedure likely would result in harm to your baby.
  • Was the damage foreseeable? If the treatment or procedure could have adverse effects, the courts ask if it was possible to predict the actual harm done to your child.
  • Were precautions taken to eliminate or reduce risk? The law considers whether a reasonable medical professional under the same conditions have taken different actions to ensure that the risk of harm was as low as possible.

Having to deal with an otherwise preventable birth injury caused by a standard of care breach can be overwhelming. Call (800)462-5772 to find out how Stern Law, PLLC can help.