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Basics of Florida doctors' duty of care in hospital negligence

We spend a lot of time on this blog discussing situations where individuals are hurt by inappropriate and inadequate medical care and how a medical malpractice lawsuit may help those victims recover the compensation they need to further their recovery. When looking at the big picture, these matters may seem pretty simple. Show that a Florida doctor acted wrongly, and the person who was hurt is awarded money. Though this simplification is not necessarily wrong, the details of a legal lawsuit are actually much more nuanced.

Let us look at the doctor's duty of care as an example. This is a critical element that must exist for a victim to succeed on a medical malpractice claim. But what is it?

The doctor's duty of care arises when he or she voluntarily decides to render aid or treatment to another. This most often happens when an individual consults with a doctor and he or she agrees to treat the patient. But, what about instances where a doctor is filling in for another? Or, if a doctor who has not agreed to provide someone treatment accidentally hurts that patient? These are issues that might complicate the matter.

Once a duty of care is established, then a court hearing a medical malpractice claim will need to determine if that duty was carried out with the same level of skill and care as a reasonably competent doctor, under the same or similar circumstances. To show this, a victim may need expert testimony and other evidence to support his or her claims.

This is just the basics of the doctor's duty of care, and the issue can see any number of complications in a particular case. This is why it may be a good idea to speak with a Florida attorney experienced with hospital negligence claims. A competent attorney can apply the law to a specific set of facts and develop a strategy that works to support his or her client's best interests.

Source: FindLaw.com, "What is the Doctor's Duty of Care," accessed on Oct. 2, 2015

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