Health care practitioners have a legal duty to their patients. In fact, health care professionals have to observe rigid medical guidelines when diagnosing and treating patients.
Whenever a doctor or other healthcare professional provides medical care that falls beneath the level of care that is expected in the medical community, they may face a medical malpractice lawsuit if the patient experiences serious injuries or dies.
Medical malpractice arises from patients being injured or harmed due to circumstances involving:
- Lab results and X-rays being misread;
- Diseases and illnesses being misdiagnosed;
- Poor surgical technique;
- Inadequate postoperative care;
- Being prescribed the wrong medication; and
- Anything that departs from what is considered an adequate standard of care and causes injury to the patient.
These acts can result in severe medical consequences for the affected individual, including expensive medical bills, the loss of income, the deterioration of their medical condition, the loss of a limb or body part, and even death.
Not only is the health care professional guilty of breaching a legal and professional duty that he or she has to the patient, he or she is also guilty of violating an unspoken trust between patient and doctor, which can cause serious mental anguish for the patient.
Medical Malpractice Cases
A medical malpractice case is much like any other personal injury case in which damages can be recovered for the injuries themselves and for the physical and mental pain and suffering caused by those injuries, including:
- Medical expenses (past and future);
- Pain and suffering (past and future);
- Loss of income;
- Occupational retraining;
- Loss of spousal services;
- Loss of enjoyment of Life;
- Necessary home alterations; and
- The cost of domestic care
Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Is Important
If you have been injured or harmed as a result of medical malpractice, the first step is to contact an attorney or law firm who specializes in medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will assist you in:
- Perform an initial investigation of the facts of your case to determine if it’s worth pursuing.
- Documenting what has occurred so that you don’t forget important facts;
- Obtaining copies your medical records; and
- Hiring expert witnesses to analyze your medical records in order to determine if the accepted standard of care was breached during your treatment.
Most medical practice lawyers handle medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis. This means that they will not charge you a fee unless there is a recovery by way of settlement or verdict in the case.
Furthermore, if there are expenses involved in hiring expert witnesses to establish that medical malpractice took place, your medical malpractice attorney will usually advance those expenses on your behalf.
Consult with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
There are strict time limits for filing a medical malpractice case. So, if you believe that you or a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice, it is important that you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after the alleged malpractice event. This way, an investigation can be conducted before the statute of limitation for filing a lawsuit expires.