In a medical malpractice case against a doctor, we must prove the doctor did not provide the appropriate care and treatment (i.e. did not meet the standard of care). For example, if it is standard for a doctor to order blood tests when a patient has specific symptoms, and the doctor does not do this, then our expert may say the doctor did not meet the appropriate standard of care.
The other primary question that must be answered by an expert is whether or not failure to provide appropriate care or treatment caused or contributed to the patient’s condition. For example, if the same patient develops a severe infection leading to a brain injury and the blood tests would have detected the infection and allowed early treatment, then our expert may say the doctor’s inaction or failure caused or contributed to the brain injury.
These are simplified definitions of standard of care and causation. More often than not, the medical investigation with respect to causation is very complex and time consuming.