Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Medical Malpractice Lawyers

 

When do you need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

When a doctor makes a mistake in diagnosis or treatment, it raises a number of concerns, first and foremost being the well-being of the patient and the impact of the error on his or her condition. Eventually, the incident may raise a different sort of red flag, when the patient asks whether the doctor’s mistake amounts to medical malpractice. The answer may be more complicated than you might expect. That’s the focus of this article: understanding when an error in the healthcare setting can lead to a valid malpractice claim.

When illness or injury forces you to see a physician or go to the hospital, you can generally be assured that a medical professional’s years of experience and training will result in excellent treatment. But in truth, medical care providers are only human, and errors are always possible. Medical malpractice occurs when a negligent act or omission by a doctor or other medical professional results in damage or harm to a patient.

Negligence by a medical professional can include an error in diagnosis, treatment, or illness management. If such negligence results in injury to a patient, a legal case for medical malpractice can arise against:

  • The doctor, if his or her actions deviated from generally accepted standards of practice;
  • The hospital for improper care or inadequate training, such as problems with medications or sanitation;
  • Local, state or federal agencies that operate hospital facilities.

Medical malpractice laws are designed to protect patients’ rights to pursue compensation if they are injured as a result of negligence. However, malpractice suits are often complex and costly to win. Therefore, if you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, it is important to consult with an attorney who will discuss your case with you, and help you determine your best options.

Legislation Affecting Malpractice Actions

Due in part to the power and resources of health care industry lobbyists, many states have passed legislation making it more difficult to bring and prevail in medical malpractice actions. In most states today, physicians and hospitals are protected by legal limits, called “caps,” on the amount of damages and attorneys’ fees that can be awarded in malpractice suits. Also, most states have a two-year time limit for filing malpractice actions, unless extraordinary circumstances affect the case.

One obstacle plaintiffs in many states may have to overcome before they can even file a malpractice action against a health care professional is the requirement that they file what is commonly known as a “certificate of merit.” In order to file a certificate of merit, a plaintiff will first have to have an expert, usually another physician, review the relevant medical records and certify that the plaintiff’s health care provider deviated from accepted medical practices, which resulted in injury to the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s attorney then files the certificate of merit, which confirms that the attorney has consulted with a medical expert and that the plaintiff’s action has merit.

 

Social Icons