Medical Malpractice - Attorneys and Law
You count on your doctor to protect you, so medical negligence can be especially devastating. This is especially true because of the high stakes involved in a botched medical treatment. If your doctor misdiagnoses a serious illness, gives you poor treatment or botches a surgery, there is a good chance that you could suffer permanent injury or even death as a result of the medical negligence. As such, medical malpractice law exists to protect patients and to ensure that doctors who don’t perform competently have to pay for the loss and damage they cause.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital or other health care provider breaches their duty to provide you with a reasonable level of care. To determine if you have a viable medical malpractice claim, there are a few elements of medical malpractice cases that must be proven:
Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim
Proving a medical malpractice case is one of the most challenging legal cases to prove. The difficulty lies in the fact that you must help a jury to understand what medical negligence consists of. After all, how is the average jury to know what a reasonable doctor would do? You also must convince the jury that this doctor was the cause of the damage.
Usually, you’ll need a host of impressive expert witnesses to win a medical malpractice claim in court. The doctor or his medical malpractice insurance carrier will present competing experts to argue against you and you’ll need to counter their arguments to make sure the jury has a clear understanding of your case.
Collecting Your Medical Malpractice Damages
Once you prove your claim, you’ll also have to prove your damages. In a case of medical negligence, you are entitled to collect damages for:
In many states, some of these damages are limited by tort reform legislation. Tort reform legislation places caps on non-economic damages (damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress). Not every state has instituted these limitations, but if yours has, it is important to know the damage caps.
It is also important to realize that in many cases, your doctor’s medical malpractice insurance carrier will offer you a settlement to give up your right to sue. If you accept, the settlement amount will be all you can collect, so it is best to talk to an medical malpractice lawyer before making a decision.
Working with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Most people would not be able to prove a medical malpractice case on their own. Hiring a medical malpractice attorney is important because your lawyer can:
A medical malpractice lawyer generally charges fees on a contingent basis. This means that you won’t have to pay until you win your case, and generally if you don’t win you won’t have to pay anything. This means you have nothing to lose by hiring a medical malpractice attorney, and you can greatly increase your chances of getting the damages you deserve.