Every year, diagnosis or medical care mistakes occur in the healthcare industry, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths and injuries. According to statistics, medical malpractice payments make up 0.27% of the overall healthcare costs in the United States. Their reasons can range from death due to negligence or lack of attentiveness.
If you’ve suffered due to medical malpractice and are in emotional or physical pain, you must be aware of your rights. One crucial factor to consider is the right lawyer, who has the ability to make or break your case. Keep reading as we explain medical malpractice and the things you should keep in mind when hiring a medical malpractice lawyer.
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What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to a negligent act or omission by a doctor, healthcare professional, or hospital while treating a patient that leads to an injury, trauma, or death.
Negligence can occur due to errors in aftercare, diagnosis, health management, or treatment. An incident is classified as medical malpractice if it entails specific characteristics, which are up to the victim to prove.
- The medical professional proceeded in a manner that violated the accepted care standard in their area of specialty
- Another similarly trained individual wouldn’t act in this manner, or the specified treatment plan wouldn’t result in a different, positive outcome
- The patient suffers some negative outcome or injury because of this deviation from standard medical practice
- This injury should clearly indicate identifiable losses, like medical bills
Some common medical malpractice examples are misreading or ignoring crucial laboratory results, poor aftercare follow-up, unnecessary or improper dosage and medication, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, premature discharge, and surgical errors.
1. Experience Matters
Ask yourself: What type of lawyer do I need to fight my case for me? A medical malpractice case can be complex, requiring a professional with experience in that area of law to increase your chances of winning. Opt for a lawyer who has taken on and won cases that are similar to yours.
If your claim is particularly complicated, you need to find a lawyer whose previous work experience aligns with your needs. Take time to find information on a lawyer’s reputation, court experience, and background. This expert may have handled other case types, but ensure they possess years of experience in the field you need help in.
2. Do Extensive Research
Don’t make the mistake of choosing a lawyer based solely on advertising or fees. Look deeper before you make this critical decision. Reach out to loved ones to ask for referrals and do your own research online. Go through reviews and see previous client comments regarding the medical malpractice lawyer or company.
Find another lawyer for the job if you come across multiple bad reviews or feel like something isn’t quite right. Inquire about their previous cases, how they handled them, and their success rate with malpractice cases.
You want to work with someone you can trust, so feeling confident in their ability to win the lawsuit and their knowledge of the law should be your top priority.
3. Medical Expertise
Suppose your case goes to trial. In that case, jurors decide your outcome. Many jurors are unaware of the intricacies of the medical world, meaning you’ll have to hire a lawyer or law firm well-versed in medical terms and conditions.
This way, they can effectively convey your claim to the jurors. While legal knowledge is crucial, your lawyer must also be familiar with the duty of care, procedures, and diagnoses.
Ask potential hires to tell you everything they know about your medical issue and ensure that whichever malpractice cases they’ve handled have a history of success. Nothing’s a more valuable courtroom asset than an experienced medical malpractice attorney; they can make a considerable difference in your lawsuit’s outcome.
4. Relevant Resources
As malpractice suits typically go to trial, you will need to produce expert witnesses who support your case. These witnesses add credibility to your claim and help educate the jury.
They can relay your terrible medical experiences and the effect of the doctor’s negligence on your life. Accomplished malpractice lawyers have solid relationships with expert witnesses and investigators, calling these individuals to testify on your behalf.
If you go with a law firm offering the services of multiple attorneys, such as The Tinker Law Firm PLLC, they are more likely to have the relevant resources and connections required to win your case. Your claim needs to be backed up by expert testimony to tip the odds in your favor.
5. Open Communication
There’s a possibility you’ll have to work with your lawyer for a while, so choose someone who is easy to communicate with. They should be ready to dive into the details of your case and be responsive to your concerns and opinions.
It would be best if you had someone you can trust and talk to, so ensure getting in touch with your attorney is straightforward and rewarding. Ask them for regular updates on the details of your case. Additionally, pick someone who will fight for everything you deserve.
6. Negotiation Skills
Some malpractice cases don’t reach the courtroom, and you can instantly negotiate a favorable settlement instead. These cases usually require a lot of back and forth, even for a few weeks or months.
Unless you have a skilled negotiator playing your cards, it can be challenging for a malpractice victim to reach a favorable settlement. Your attorney must be experienced in negotiating terms and offers and persevere in fighting for rightful compensation.
7. Go Over the Fee Structure
When a lawyer offers you their services, understand the charges they present and whether they are reasonable. You can’t sign anything before you agree on the fees.
In most cases, medical malpractice attorneys secure their payment once you have won your case or received a settlement. However, you should be aware that not all lawyers have your best interests at heart.
Some are just looking to make money, so do your own research regarding the legal fees and ask questions about what you’ll be paying for. Contingency charges can vary from place to place.
Filing a medical malpractice claim entails dealing with paperwork, attorneys, bureaucratic policies, and meeting deadlines. This entire process can be overwhelming and is bound to tire you out. However, you owe it to yourself or your loved ones to fight for your claim and receive the compensation you deserve. You can make this difficult time easier by hiring the right people to represent you and help win your case.