When you seek medical treatment of any sort, you have certain expectations.
A patient expects to be treated with respect from skilled professionals, receive an accurate diagnosis, have surgeries carefully performed, and medications prescribed accurately and safely.
Sometimes, however, this is simply not the case. When a patient receives care that isn’t up to modern standards or is injured as a result of a doctor’s work, they may need to hire the help of a medical lawyer to help them build a case so they may sue the medical professional or institution for damages.
In this post, we’ll discuss medical malpractice and offer tips from a medical lawyer.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, also commonly referred to as medical negligence, is typically defined as a careless or even reckless act that results in bodily harm and injury.
Within the field of medicine, malpractice is determined by comparing a specific incident with what’s called the “standard of care.” That is, to prove malpractice, a medical professional must violate this standard.
Medical professionals are held to a high standard when it comes to providing care. As such, not every undesirable outcome can be defined as malpractice. For example, surgeries sometimes result in complications, but not due to malpractice. If the care received is considered reasonable, and the harm couldn’t be predicted, then a malpractice suit can move forward.
If you or a loved one might be the victim of malpractice you will need to hire an experienced medical lawyer to help evaluate the validity of your claim. If there is a viable claim to be made, then you can proceed with a malpractice lawsuit.
What Can a Medical Lawyer Do for You?
First and foremost, a medical lawyer will help you determine if your claim can qualify as a malpractice suit.
However, this should only be done after the person filing the claim receives a second opinion from a qualified professional. In other words, if the alleged injury occurred during a brain surgery, the second opinion should come from a neurologist, not a general practitioner. Once the claim has been verified, a medical lawyer will review the case.
What happens next is the beginning of an extensive investigation into the specifics of the case and the true extent of the injuries suffered. While some claims might be valid, not all are worth pursuing. For example, if the injury is relatively minor, the case might not be financially viable enough for a medical lawyer to take it up.
If the claim is valid, a medical lawyer will then guide you through the process of collecting the necessary evidence. It should be noted that in malpractice lawsuits, time is of the essence.
As time passes, the parties involved, as well as witnesses, might not remember key facts that will make the case worth pursuing. A medical lawyer will also help ensure that the case is handled properly and in a timely manner.
Filing a Claim
The validity of any claim depends on the amount of evidence supporting it. Remember, time is of the utmost importance when filing a malpractice claim. And in order to file a claim and have it proceed forward in the courts, there needs to be sufficient evidence supporting it.
As part of the investigation, a medical lawyer will conduct interviews with all associated parties. This includes the doctors, as well as the doctor’s giving the second opinion. If there is evidence substantiating the claim, the case can proceed through the proper legal channels.
Once the investigation collects enough evidence, your lawyer will file the claim. It should be noted here that most medical malpractice claims are actually settled outside the courts before they head to trial.
But still, sometimes a settlement can’t be negotiated. In these instances, a case will then goes before the courts. This process, though, can become long and drawn out if a settlement isn’t negotiated outside the courts. Due to this, evidence must be collected as quickly as possible following the event to ensure the case will be accepted.
Proving Medical Negligence
For a medical malpractice claim to be successful, the harm needs to be proven. These claims then need to be compared to the standard of care the patient expected to receive. This standard is almost always present within a medical organization.
Then, the medical professional being accused of malpractice has to meet the criteria of breaching their duty of providing that high level of care. Lastly, the damages then need to show the causation. That is, the procedure did indeed cause the injury in question.
While this may seem like a redundant addition to the information already presented in this article, the importance of it cannot be stressed enough. For any medical malpractice claim to be successful, there must be sufficient evidence and proof.
How much you will receive in compensation will vary from case to case. There are no set amounts for malpractice payouts.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about 65 percent of claims closed for less than $10,000 between 2010 and 2011. However, during these years there was also an increased number of claims which closed with compensation between $100,000 and $500,000.
The amount of compensation received for any claim, though, depends on the calculation of varying factors. These factors include the expenses incurred, loss of income, the level of suffering (both physical and mental), and any other associated expenses.
Working With Your Lawyer
Filing a medical malpractice claim can be a daunting and prospect. While the process is time-consuming, filing a claim can be in your best interest if done correctly. Doing so could provide you with the necessary funds to recoup what you lost when dealing with the aftermath of medical malpractice.
The first step, though, is contacting a law firm and having their lawyers review the case to determine if it’s worth pursuing. If you or a loved one are considering filing a malpractice claim, Compensation Lawyers can help. Call us today to set up a free consultation.