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Your local bar association will be a good source of finding a qualified and reputable attorney specializing in medical malpractice law. There are also websites that can aid in obtaining a medical malpractice lawyer to assist with deciding whether the requirements are present necessary to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
These services are typically fast, free and confidential service designed to assist with finding the right attorney. Once your case is presented and analyzed by the staff, attorneys are matched to your case by their expertise and then you are able to select and consult with an attorney of your choice.
The most important thing in considering whether or not you have a medical malpractice cause of action is to make sure your rights are not violated and that all professionals are held to the appropriate standard of care.
Medical malpractice arises when a medical professional fails to exercise due diligence or adequate levels of care, whether intentional or unintentional, resulting in an injury or harm to an individual in their care.
The medical professional must exhibit and demonstrate professional skills in the “assignment” that they have accepted according to the standard of care, skill and education together with the circumstances in their given community.
Each professional is measured according to what is reasonable care for their field of practice and their clients in the same geographic location. In order for someone to suffer medical malpractice, a loss, injury or damages must have been incurred as a result of the misconduct of the medical professional.
In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, certain elements must be present:
* The expected standard of care for a particular geographical region must have been breached and injury resulted from that breach.
If it was made clear to someone consenting to use experimental drugs not approved by the government, and potential risks and side effects were given and explained, then there is most likely no medical malpractice. The medical professional prescribing such drugs would be held to the standard of care in the community, however, by disclosing all risks to the patient.
One word of advice, even if the medical professional disclosed risks and side effects, the manufacturer of the drug may still have liability if it acted improperly.
To make this determination, one should consider consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer. Before any settlement is entered into, consult a firm that hires medical malpractice lawyers that know the laws in your particular state.
You must first prove that the standard of care was breached. In other words, you have to be able to prove that the doctor made a mistake, something that a reasonable and prudent doctor would not have done under the same circumstances.
Generally, this will require the testimony of an expert witness, which can sometimes be difficult to obtain because it's not often that a medical professional will be willing to testify against a fellow professional. However, finding a good expert witness will be key to success in your case.
You will also need to show causation, or that the doctor's actions or mistake caused an injury to you.
Lastly, you will have to prove damages suffered which can be anything from serious injury to death as a result of the doctor's actions. Damages can also include lost wages, medical bills, agony, pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of a loved one.
An experience and reputable medical malpractice lawyer will be able to assist you in making determination of all of these issues and assessing your chances of recovery.
Consent forms may limit your legal rights to file a malpractice lawsuit against the medical professionals involved in your care, however, they do not completely eliminate the responsibility of the medical professional or the hospital or surgery center.
If the medical professional fails to perform according to the standard of care for the area, then a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed. There may also be extenuating circumstances such as a failure to disclose certain risks for a procedure or incompetence occurring while the medical professional is performing the procedure that in fact may result in medical malpractice.
To assure your rights are completely covered, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your state or one that is intimately knowledgeable with the laws governing your particular state.
Essentially, any medical professional, such as a nurse, a therapist, a pharmacist or a medical doctor can be subject to medical malpractice claims.
There is a standard of care for each aspect of healthcare and all professionals should consider carrying professional liability insurance to protect them in the event of suit being filed against them.
There may be causes of action where two or more medical professionals are named in a medical malpractice lawsuit, such as in the case of an injury resulting during childbirth, for example. The attending physician may be listed as well as any nurses or midwives caring for the patient. This is termed as join and several liabilities, wherein more than one party may be named as a defendant.
The term vicarious liability also refers to situations in which perhaps a hospital would be vicariously liable for any acts committed by its employee physician or nurse attending the injured party.
Laws governing medical malpractice vary from state to state in the US. Some states have laws limiting the amount of damages one can recover by such an action as well as specific statutes of limitation or time allowed by law in which to file such a cause of action.
Depending upon the state, there may also be mandatory mediation or arbitration before a medical malpractice suit may be filed. As with any presumed cause of action, it is strongly suggested that consultation with a reputable medical malpractice attorney be done in a timely manner. Medical malpractice is not always the result just because a procedure was not successful. However, in order to make that determination, a medical malpractice lawyer should be consulted.
The general rule is that you have two years after the act occurred, but again, consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer is highly recommended.
Medical malpractice lawsuits take time. They require medical malpractice lawyers to review and study not only the facts of the case that the client has supplied, but in some cases, medical experts are called upon to give their opinion as to the merit of the case. This can be a long and tedious process.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are usually complicated and present medical malpractice lawyers with a complex series of challenges in order to bring the case to a satisfying conclusion for a client.
Medical malpractice lawyers sometimes schedule office meetings to make sure the defendant understands what is happening with the case and what the client can expect until the case is settled.
Medical malpractice lawyers sympathize with the client concerning the timing of a case. They know that the client is anxious for a quick conclusion as well as a satisfactory monetary settlement of the case.
There is nothing wrong with a client checking on the status of a case, as long as the timing of the calls is reasonable. A client who is constantly calling the law firm for status on the case is only acting as a detriment to the impending settlement. Give the lawyer the time he needs; his attention now will make for a better settlement later.
Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in cases against doctors and hospitals when patients are injured as a result of the medical practitioner’s neglect in treatment or omitting, intentionally or unintentionally, important diagnostic or treatment information.
In some cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit is unjustified and qualified lawyers must determine whether or not the patient has a true case of malpractice. Medical malpractice lawyers review the case and determine whether the medical professionals violated the expected standard of care. To be considered for a malpractice lawsuit, the neglect or oversight must have caused an injury to the patient that resulted in severe damages such as disability, increased medical bills or undue pain and suffering.
Medical malpractice lawyers take on cases in which patients were seriously injured as a result of a doctor ordering incorrect medication administration, failing to request proper testing or ignoring the test results, and giving a patient the wrong diagnosis or ignoring patient symptoms. Performing surgery that is not needed or that which causes additional harm to the patient often results in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor who performed the surgery.
Patients may feel they do not have a legitimate case or fear their case will be ignored. Consultation with qualified medical malpractice lawyers is essential to establishing a case.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|