What does “duty of care” mean in a Virginia medical malpractice case? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A duty of care exists when a clear and mutually understood health care relationship exists. The most-widely recognized situations where a duty of care exists are when a doctor examines or treats a patient and when a patient visits a health care facility seeking a diagnosis or treatment.

Any health care provider can take on a duty of care, including, but not limited to, nurses, dentists and pharmacists. The key to establishing the duty care is that the health care provider knows that the actions taken and decisions made will directly affect the patient.