Medical malpractice is far more common than most people realize. Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States; research by Johns Hopkins claims that over 250,000 people die each year due to medical errors.
Furthermore, these statistics don’t take into account the medical mistakes that do not cause death but still cause significant damage to patients. This includes long-term disability, a longer recovery period than expected, mental stress, and more.
It is impossible to dispute the fact that medical malpractice can have a major impact on the life of people who suffer because of it. While a financial settlement cannot solve everything, it can go a long way to make you whole.
If you feel like you have suffered due to medical negligence, it’s essential to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer. As this area of the law is challenging to navigate, you should talk to a lawyer or law firm that specializes in such cases and can provide you with the best chances of success in court.
What is Medical Malpractice?
While you may feel that your health care provider erred while treating you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were guilty of medical malpractice. This phrase has a specific legal definition that a case should meet if you want to pursue it further.
Medical malpractice essentially means that you received substandard or inappropriate treatment. In the United States, a medical malpractice case must involve three distinct factors:
- Failure to provide an appropriate standard of care.
- The negligence has resulted in injury or harm to the patient; if there was no harm, a patient cannot submit a claim.
- There must be damaging consequences for the patient as a result of the injury or harm caused by medical malpractice. Harmful consequences can include loss of income, physical pain, mental anguish, long or short-term disability, unexpected medical bills, etc.
Medical malpractice cases are not just limited to the doctors involved. They can also be filed against surgeons, nurses, hospital administrators, pharmacy staff, and other medical professionals involved in your care, depending on when and where the malpractice occurred.
Should You Get Legal Help?
If you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, it is understandable that you may feel hesitant to bring legal advisors on board to help you with your case. However, there are some major reasons why hiring a lawyer or law firm to help with your medical malpractice case is a must.
You’ll Get a Bigger Settlement
Insurance companies are encouraged to keep settlements as low as possible to reduce the hit to their profits. This often leads to them lowballing medical malpractice plaintiffs to pressure them into accepting far less than they deserve.
A lawyer experienced in this area of the law will be able to determine what you truly deserve to receive. You can look at the case results at https://www.stewartlawoffices.net to get an idea of just how big a settlement you can potentially receive in a medical malpractice case. Additionally, as lawyers are paid a percentage of your final settlement, they will be motivated to ensure you receive the biggest settlement possible.
They Can Help You Navigate Legal Requirements
Bringing forth a medical malpractice case isn’t as simple as claiming negligence on the part of your medical provider. As part of a legal case, you need to submit a host of supporting documents including medical bills, proof of lost income, insurance records, and more.
Additionally, you need to bring witnesses who can corroborate your side of the case to the stand and prepare them for cross-examination from the other party’s lawyers. Furthermore, you need to be ready to get questioned.
You also need to bring your own expert testimony to help support your claim further. These experts are usually other doctors and medical professionals who can bring practical experience to the table. They will help courts and juries understand that the steps your medical provider took did not meet appropriate standards of care and have caused you direct harm after referring to their relevant qualifications.
With all these considerations to keep in mind, it’s essential to hire the help of a lawyer. They will be able to guide you through all the information you will need to offer as part of the case, help find qualified and experienced expert witnesses, prep you and your witnesses for trial, and more. Without the help of a lawyer, you risk being caught off-guard in court, which can majorly hamper your chances of winning a case.
You Get the Time to Recover
Medical malpractice cases, like all other legal issues, can be highly stressful for the plaintiff. However, there are additional, unique considerations that must be taken into account.
If you are bringing a case of medical negligence into court, you have likely suffered from some form of physical or mental harm. There is no guarantee that you will be fully recovered by the time the case is being heard.
Additionally, the process of preparing for a case can be long-winded and exhausting, even without taking into account the damages you have already suffered. This is where lawyers can help. They handle all of the stressful details so that you can focus on healing and getting better. Indeed, this is such an important factor that many lawyers choose to engage the services of other legal advisors when filing a medical malpractice claim for themselves.
If you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, hiring one can be intimidating, especially while tackling recovery from an extremely traumatic event in your life. However, if you suspect that you – or a loved one – have been the victim of medical negligence, it’s important to at least schedule a legal consultation.
A lawyer will be able to guide you regarding whether or not you have a case and chalk out the next steps you should take. The best part is that medical malpractice cases are usually argued on a contingency basis (that is, your lawyer only gets paid in case of a successful claim). This means that you don’t have to worry about any more bills on top of your existing medical ones.