Residents of Brandenburg, Kentucky, may have heard the phrase standard of care thrown around by doctors and other medical professionals but may have only a vague idea of what that phrase means.

It is in fact a very important phrase when a patient has an unfavorable medical outcome, as one of the key questions after a bad outcome in the medical world is whether a doctor acted consistently with the standard of care. If the answer is no, then the patient will likely be able to get compensation for his or her losses via a medical malpractice action.

Basically, the standard of care in a given situation is how a typical group of similarly situated doctors, that is doctors with the same level of expertise practicing medicine in the same environment, would approach the same situation.

So, for example, if the local community of medical professionals would have done X, Y, or Z, and the doctor in question did A and got a bad result, then he or she may be found negligent.

Unlike other legal standards, the standard of care is not an ironclad written rule that a person can simply look up. It can even vary depending on, for example, a doctor's degree of expertise and even where and in what setting a doctor practices medicine. Determining what the standard of care is will usually mean calling a medical expert to give an opinion on a doctor's performance, which can be difficult since many times, a doctor's colleagues aren't going to want to criticize the doctor.

Therefore, one of the most important things a Kentucky victim of medical malpractice can do is identify the right professional who can establish the standard of care in a given case. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can be of valuable assistance in this respect.

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