Medical malpractice litigation is likely not a topic most folks consider very often, but because just about everyone uses the services of doctors, nurses and healthcare facilities, it may be that they need to. Countless patients place their faith in the judgment, professional training and abilities of the medical personnel who treat them. While this reliance is usually appropriate and well-founded, there are far too many times when mistakes are made and devastating outcomes result. If misdiagnosis, improper drug administration, surgical mishap or other type of negligence causes real harm, a medical malpractice lawyer is ready to help.
In a general sense, medical malpractice cases arise when an individual experiences defined injuries or harm because a doctor or other provider failed to meet the prevailing standard of care. An undesirable medical result is not alone enough to generate a strong malpractice claim. Rather, it is necessary to demonstrate that the physician’s conduct fell below the level of skill, competence or ability required by the facts at issue.
Claimants in such cases necessitate proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed when the harm was sustained, that the professional in question did not live up to the accepted standard of care and that the conduct alleged was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury, death or other category of loss. The amount of monetary compensation available in such a case will turn in part on the opinions of medical experts, economic loss experts and other witnesses.
Medical malpractice actions can come about in a seemingly limitless number of ways. But, there are a series of situations which seem to present themselves more frequently than others. Late, error-laden and missed diagnoses account for a significant number of medical negligence claims, and other common drivers of such actions include surgical mistakes, errors in anesthesia, botched labor and delivery of babies, improper administration of drugs and faulty hospital maintenance or design.
Though just about every medical malpractice matter is a complicated, wrenching experience, such litigation is intended to give victims the financial compensation and justice they deserve. Medical negligence can exact a crippling toll in a financial, emotional and physical sense, and it may be that a lawsuit is the only way to secure accountability after the fact.
If there is a bright side for victims of medical malpractice, it is that the monetary recovery obtainable through the courts can be quite substantial. Successful plaintiffs may be awarded amounts that include payment for past, present and future medical expenses, the cost of rehabilitation and therapy, lost employment wages, reduction in future earning potential, pain, suffering and emotional trauma. In cases where death was the result, families may be able to secure financial support for dependents who have been left behind as well as payment of funeral expenses.
Medical malpractice matters are rarely straightforward and are likely to be aggressively contested by the professionals themselves and their insurance carriers. For this reason, it is crucial for victims to enlist the help of a seasoned malpractice lawyer who possesses a history of success on behalf of aggrieved patients.
By carefully reviewing all relevant health and hospital records, interviewing eyewitnesses and soliciting the opinions of subject matter experts in the field of medicine, economic loss, psychology and others, a seasoned attorney can build the best possible case on behalf of a victim.
Those harmed by the acts or omissions of a physician, nurse or other healthcare provider need to know that the time for taking legal action is limited. The aftermath of an incident involving medical negligence can be a confusing, painful time, but the sooner the guidance of an attorney is sought, the better the chances that vindication, compensation and fairness can be achieved.