An interesting law that many people are unaware of is the locality rule. This rule was created initially to help protect medical practitioners who work in a small or rural area. Although it not used in New York City, due to its population, New York State still upholds this rule.
The rule states that a doctor who renders a medical service to a patient is obligated to have â€œthat reasonable degree of knowledge and ability which is expected of doctorsâ€¦in the medical community in which the doctor practices.â€ (PJI 2:150) Basically, this provides protection for a doctor practicing in a lightly populated area if he has to perform a service that requires a specialty. For example, a doctor who is a general practitioner who needs to set the bones of a patient will not be held to a specialistâ€™s standard of duty, because the generalistâ€™s failure to set the bones would cause the patient more harm.
The rule focuses on the availability of services and equipment in that specific community. If there are not many practicing medical professionals, then a lower standard is created. This does not mean that a professional does not owe their entire patientâ€™s a duty of care. It simply means that under certain treatments when a generalist is acting as a specialist he is not held to a higher standard.
We at the Law Offices of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. can provide you with the information you need on what your options are if you have been injured in at the hands of a doctor and how this can affect the outcome of an accident case. If you have been injured in any accident case and you are in need of legal advice, please feel free to call us at 1-800-660-5299 to set up a free initial consultation or visit our website www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.