Medical malpractice results in endless pain and misery to victims who have suffered at the hands of careless care providers and medical professionals.
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or a medical professional, or a hospital, clinic, diagnostic center or pharmacy delivers patient care that falls short of accepted standards. Usually the care providers who directly administer medical treatment of patients are involved in medical malpractice cases, but at times others in the system are also held liable.
It is not easy to bring a medical malpractice case. You should have strong and concrete evidence, and expert testimony supporting your arguments. There are many hoops you need to jump through before you can take your case to trial. Often the defendants will have high-flying legal teams assisting them, so it’s important that you have an experienced attorney specialized in medical malpractice handling your case.
Here are a few things you need to know if you suspect you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice.
When Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
A medical malpractice case is based on the premise that when a person approaches a healthcare professional the patient expects a certain standard of care. The standard of care expected is similar to what a doctor with comparable expertise and experience would provide in a similar circumstance.
If the doctor treats you in a way in which no other competent doctor would, and causes you harm or injuries, then you have a case for medical malpractice. If the medical professional, physician, nurse or technician, does or doesn’t do something, and that causes you harm then you can sue the care provider for medical negligence.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor makes an error or mistake in delivering care to a patient that no similarly qualified doctor under similar circumstances would do. Sub-standard care alone will not be sufficient to bring a medical malpractice case against a physician. The act of omission or negligence on the part of the doctor should have caused harm or injury to the patient. If there are no damages sustained as a result of medical negligence then there is no medical malpractice.
If the doctor has delivered standard care in an optimal way, but the patient has suffered injuries or damages as a result of the treatment, you cannot sue for medical malpractice. This is because you cannot prove that the doctor made an omission, mistake or error in diagnosing or treating your illness. Your injury is not a result of medical negligence; your treatment was merely unsuccessful. There is no ground for medical malpractice case.
There are instances where patients have suffered disabilities or injuries during treatment, and there is proven medical negligence as well. But medical malpractice requires a direct cause-result relationship between sub-standard care and injuries. If the injuries are not directly caused due to the medical negligence then there is no medical malpractice case even though the care provider has erred. This usually happens when the patient has a pre-existing health condition before availing treatment and hence the injuries cannot be solely attributed to poor medical care.
A hospital can be sued for medical malpractice if one of the employees commits an act of medical negligence and you are harmed as a result. A nurse administering wrong dose of medication, an erring surgical team member who leaves behind medical equipment in your body and poor ER care leading to complications are all grounds for patients to sue a medical facility for malpractice.
How to Prepare for The Battle?
As you can see medical malpractice is as complicated as a case can get. You need to invest time and money, and should be willing to stay emotionally invested in the case as it may drag along for months or even years. You have a lot to prove and the defendant and the representing insurance company will, without doubt, put up a strong fight.
In addition to strong willpower you will also need the services of a competent, qualified and experienced attorney to fight your case. Your lawyer will first study evidence, facts and other documents that you furnish and assess whether there are grounds for a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice attorneys have access to expert medical professionals who will be able to review your evidence and conclude whether you or a loved one was indeed a victim of medical malpractice.
The cost associated with fighting medical malpractice case acts as a deterrent to many victims from filing a lawsuit or seeking a claim. Experts may have to appear before jury to testify for you and they charge high fee for their time. You also have to bear court costs, and filing and discovery expenses. There is also the need to invest time and money to jump through hoops like a medical malpractice review panel.
Most lawyers specializing in medical malpractice take cases on a contingency basis. An Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer will bear most if not all costs of the case and you do not have to pay anything upfront. If you win the case he will take a cut from the money you receive to cover his fees and other expenses. If you lose you do not have to pay the attorney fee, but will have to pay the court-related expenses incurred. This arrangement will help you take your fight for justice forward even if you do not have the money to cover initial costs of the legal battle.
Medical malpractice cases serve as a deterrent to other healthcare providers to be cautious. If you win your case, the money received as compensation help minimize, if not fully alleviate, the sufferings you and your family incurred due to medical negligence.