Have you suffered injuries due to the negligence of a health care provider? If so, you may be a victim of medical malpractice, and you may be entitled to compensation. To help you out, here’s a look at some common questions and answers about this type of injury law.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice consists of any situation where a health care provider gives you sub-standard medical care that leads to an injury. For example, say a surgeon operates on the wrong body part, or a physician prescribes the wrong medication or an incorrect diagnosis makes your health worse.
A vast range of other situations can also fall into this category, including the following:
- Ignoring important test results
- Reading x-rays or other reports incorrectly
- Not taking your medical history into account
- Failing to offer follow-up care if needed
- Administering the wrong dosage of medication
- Letting you leave the hospital too early
- Forgetting to order important tests or procedures
If your medical provider did one of these things, you could have a medical malpractice case.
How Can You Prove Medical Malpractice?
To prove medical malpractice, your attorney has to argue that the health care provider was negligent. Generally, that means proving that another skilled provider would have made a different, more commonly accepted, decision in the same situation.
On top of that, the lawyer has to convince the courts that your injuries were directly related to the health care provider’s actions. All of this is tricky, which is why it’s critical to work with a lawyer who truly understands medical malpractice in particular and injury law in general.
What Documents Do You Need for a Medical Malpractice Suit?
Note that you cannot file a medical malpractice suit unless you have injuries. You need to have suffered physical, emotional and/or fiscal damages. The latter could include medical bills, lost time at work, wages for a caretaker or housekeeper to help you around the house or any other expenses you incurred as a result of the injury.
To prove your injuries, you need medical records. Ideally, you should have records from the primary care provider who caused the injury, but you should also have records from the professional you saw after the injury. Those records can be critical in linking the original care and the injury.
How Common Is Medical Malpractice?
Sadly, medical malpractice is not that uncommon. While it’s impossible to pin down the exact numbers, most estimates put the annual death toll related to medical malpractice at 200,000 cases per year.
Based on those numbers, it’s the third most common cause of death among adults in the United States. The only causes of death that are more common are heart disease and cancer. Of course, these numbers don’t even take into account medical malpractice where the patient survives.
Who Is Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
Typically, you bring a medical malpractice suit against the health care provider who caused the injury. That may be a doctor, nurse, physical therapist, psychiatrist, dentist, midwife or another type of health care provider.
In some cases, the hospital, clinic or other facility where the health care worker was performing the care may also be liable. In still other cases, the responsible party may be an equipment or drug manufacturer.
Are Medical Malpractice Suits Expensive?
Bringing forward any lawsuit can be time consuming and potentially expensive, but without a lawsuit, you may be stuck paying unnecessary medical bills and other expenses. If you want to save money on your case, you need to work with a lawyer who does not charge anything up front.
At The Jaklitsch Law Group, we do nothing but personal injury law. That includes everything from medical malpractice to car, truck and train crashes, to dog bites. If you want help, contact us today. We don’t get paid unless you win.