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Medical Malpractice Law

Medical malpractice is the failure of a medical professional to follow the accepted standards of practice of his or her profession, resulting in harm to the patient. Usually, proof of failure to comply with accepted standards of medical practice requires the testimony of someone with expertise in the area of medical practice. Some states have special evidentiary rules applicable to malpractice claims.

The standard of care is usually established by expert testimony on how similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances. At one time such standards were referred to as the “standard of care in the community” but, with the globalization of information and credentialing, standards are now often considered to be national and not just simply related to the community. There are, however, special circumstances, as when a community is physically isolated from the rest of the country, that national standards might not apply.