Duty of Care laws for doctors

When a doctor establishes a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes a “duty of care” to his or her patients. Doctors will treat their patients with the degree of skill, care, and diligence expected of a competent doctor under the same or similar circumstances.  

All cases of medical malpractice or negligence depend upon the duty of care. Medical malpractice lawsuits occur when a medical professional(s) deviates from the legal obligation of owing a duty of care to his or her patients.  In cases of medical malpractice, the courts define negligence as the medical professional’s failure to exercise the proper standard of care. Standard of care is based on what a doctor in the same or similar circumstances would typically do when providing care and treatment.

In California doctors and other medical professionals have a legal duty to use their skills, knowledge, and care when diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries.  Any breach of these duties can give a cause of action for negligence against the doctor or doctors in question. Medical negligence is proved if it can be established that the doctor(s) owed a duty of care to the victim, the duty care was breached, and as a direct result of that breach, the victim was harmed.

Your personal injury case

If you have suffered injuries as result of the medical care or treatment that you’ve received, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim if the medical professionals involved were negligent in providing a duty of care.

Medical malpractice claims are some of the most complicated types of personal injury cases.  The state of California has its own laws pertaining to medical malpractice lawsuits, including statute of limitations, providing notice to the medical professionals of your intent to sue, a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages (eg. pain and suffering, loss of consortium), a limit on attorney’s fees and shared liability rules.

In order to get the compensation that you deserve, you need to engage the services of an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, with expertise and experience in litigating medical malpractice cases.  In Southern California, Scott S. Harris focuses exclusively on medical malpractice cases as well as legal malpractice and personal injury claims

Learn more

The doctor-patient relationship is, in essence, a contract in which doctors are expected to provide a duty of care to their patients.  If the laws governing duty of care are broken, then the doctor may be found negligent.

Some examples of medical malpractice include anesthesia, birth and nursing home injuries, medication, surgical, and drug administration errors, and misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.

Contact the law office of attorney, Scott S. Harris, to schedule your free consultation.