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What is “duty of care” in medical malpractice cases?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

If you need medical treatment, you should know what your doctor’s responsibilities are. Being unclear about these matters can lead to significant damages later on.

In Louisiana, your doctor must follow the standard that other physicians in the community have set. Different localities may have slightly different standards, but your doctor’s “duty of care” is always to provide you with competent medical treatment.

Reason

Healthcare involves a lot of difficult decisions that need an expert opinion. Your doctor is responsible for making a reasonable judgment about your case and helping you get through it. Any diagnosis should be accurate, and any treatment or prescription should be appropriate for your condition.

Communication

Communication is key when it comes to healthcare. Your doctor must keep you informed about the surrounding details to help you weigh your options. Also, when you have questions about your condition or treatment, your doctor should be willing to respond in a timely manner.

Contracts

There are duties that are not universal to every doctor but come from a signed contract. For example, if your orthopedist guarantees you in writing that a hip replacement will help you walk better and you end up not seeing this result, the orthopedist may be guilty of medical malpractice under Louisiana law. The more documentation you have, the easier it will likely be to hold your doctor accountable.

You put your livelihood in someone else’s hands when you seek medical help. For this reason, it is important to make sure you are working with a doctor you can count on.