10 Things You Want to Know About Medical Malpractice
We never expect to leave a hospital in worse condition than when we arrived, but the threat of medical malpractice can make that an unfortunate reality. Patients across the nation suffer every year from the negligence or carelessness of healthcare professionals. If you feel you were a victim of medical malpractice, here are 10 things you need to know as you prepare to take legal action.
#1 – Medical malpractice is not your fault.
Some patients believe they are somehow to blame for their physician’s error. In some cases, the physician may even imply that their mistake was the patient’s fault. In a true instance of medical malpractice, however, the responsibility lies solely with the physician. Your physician is responsible for working in an error-free manner that ensures you receive the best possible care.
#2 – Medical malpractice is more common than you think.
Studies show that medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Only cancer and heart disease kill more people annually. Additionally, because so many instances of medical malpractices are thought to go unreported due to patient embarrassment or unawareness, the real number could be much higher.
#3 – Medical malpractice can happen at any time.
Although many instances of medical malpractice occur during surgical procedures, it can manifest at any stage of healthcare. Examples of medical malpractice include diagnosing the wrong condition, prescribing the wrong drug and leaving a surgical instrument inside the body.
#4 – Medical malpractice may be difficult to detect.
Some patients may immediately notice their physician’s neglect, but medical errors often go undetected until their conditions worsen. In a misdiagnosis case, for example, a physician may waste valuable time treating a false condition. Because the patient has no way to diagnose themselves, they would be led to believe that they are receiving proper and accurate treatment.
#5 – You need the right attorney.
Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and should only be entrusted with the most qualified attorneys. You need an attorney who understands the nuances of the healthcare system and demonstrates a proven track record of results. These cases are also emotionally taxing, so your attorney should offer guidance and compassion.
#6 – There are two components of a case.
Much like a personal injury lawsuit, there are two components to a medical malpractice lawsuit: proof and damages. Your legal team must prove that a healthcare provider committed an error and that the error led to direct harm. You’ll then determine the damages of the case, which may include economic and non-economic items.
#7 – No two cases are alike.
Unlike a car accident or slip and fall injury, medical malpractice cases are very unique to the victim. Medical care is highly personal and varies from person to person. These nuances must be carefully considered in order to build a winning case.
#8 – Cases take a long time.
Medical malpractice cases must be methodically built in order to be successful. Your legal team will need to conduct extensive research around your condition and the standard of care required to treat it. Your medical malpractice attorneys may also consult expert witnesses, such as other doctors or nurses, in order to understand what went wrong. This level of detail translates to additional time needed to prepare your case for trial.
#9 – You may not go to court.
Insurance companies and hospitals generally prefer to settle medical malpractice lawsuits out of court. That does not mean you should expect a quick settlement. Your attorney should prepare every case for trial and only accept a settlement if it is advantageous to you.
#10 – You must act early.
Each state has a statute of limitations that outlines the timeframe in which a patient may file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Missouri, it is two years from the date of negligence. While there may be exceptions to this statute depending on your case, you should always consult an attorney as soon as possible.
We understand that casting doubt on your medical care is nerve-racking and that you may have questions outside this list. Our medical malpractice attorneys are always available for a free consultation to address any specific concerns you have. We look forward to serving you.
Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.