Medical malpractice attorneys believe that lawsuits against physicians, as opposed to attorneys and other professionals, recognize the locality rule more frequently. The locality rule generally states that doctors and other healthcare professionals should live up to the acceptable standard of care as do other similarly situated professionals in the same vicinity and same community. There are many cases that refer and adopt the locality rule in similar and slightly differing ways depending on the jurisdiction.
The Rule Applied
One important case regarding medical malpractice was Hickson v. Martinez from a Texas appellate court. That court held that doctors must act as prudent and reasonable doctors in the same or similar communities would. This ensures that no matter what healthcare provider a patient decides to go to for treatment, that treatment will be relatively similar. Another important case comes from Indiana and is cited as Vergara v. Doan. That court held that a doctor must exercise the degree of skill, care, and proficiency that would be exercised by reasonably careful, skillful, and prudent doctors who are placed under similar circumstances. That court said that the locality, different advances in the profession as a whole, the availability of facilities, and whether the healthcare provider was a specialist or a general practitioner are all to be considered. The final case that illustrates this aspect of the law comes from Mississippi. In Hall v. Hilbun, the court viewed the locality expansively, taking into consideration doctors across the United States who have similar facilities, services, equipment and options available to them. Medical malpractice attorneys have found that regardless of the technical criteria of a jurisdiction, doctors should hold themselves to the acceptable standards of other doctors in similar situations.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you or a family member have recently been the victim of medical negligence, it is possible that you would like to speak with our professionals. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.