In the United States, between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice suits are filed every year against health care professionals, according to the Medical Malpractice Center. Several types of errors by doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals cause these types of cases. If you or a loved one has a claim against a medical professional, don’t take the case alone. Instead, contact the experienced team at Alvarez Law to discuss your case and get the representation needed to get you the settlement you deserve.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a medical professional or facility causes an injury to a patient through negligence or omission. The negligence or omission must result from errors in health management, diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare. The criteria to meet a medical malpractice case are:
- Failure to provide a proper standard of care. The law requires health care professionals to adhere to specific standards of care to avoid an accusation of negligence.
- Injury results from that negligence. If there’s no injury resulting from the negligence, you can’t file a medical malpractice suit. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury, and without that negligence, no injury would have occurred.
- Injury has damaging consequences. The negligence must cause considerable damage to the patient, including enduring hardship, loss of income, constant pain, disability, and overall suffering.
Medical malpractice cases can stem from many reasons, including a failure to diagnose, failing to act on test results, surgical errors, fatal infections acquired at the facility, or discharging a patient too soon. Surgical errors can include performing unnecessary surgery, causing persistent pain after surgery, operating on the wrong side of the body, and leaving items inside the body during surgery.
Do I Need A Medical Malpractice Attorney?
While the simple answer to this question is no, you need to understand that your chances of getting the settlement you deserve are significantly increased if you hire a knowledgeable attorney to take your case. The medical professional or facility will have lawyers working hard on their side to disprove your case or reduce the amount of a settlement. It would be best to have an attorney looking out for your rights and pursuing a fair judgment amount.
In a medical malpractice case, you can seek compensatory damages along with possible punitive damages. Compensatory damages are both non-economic and economical in nature. The non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental or emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment in activities, inconvenience, and emotional distress. Economic damages include medical bills, transportation to appointments, rehabilitation services, lost wages and earning capacity, and future medical bills. A judge may also choose to award punitive damages if the defendant is willfully negligent or malicious as an additional punishment.
How Do You Find a Good Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Finding a lawyer with the knowledge and experience of medical malpractice is paramount to the success of your case. Medical malpractice is a specialized personal injury case, so having an attorney with this technical knowledge is key. So how do you find a good medical malpractice attorney?
Ask a Trusted Lawyer for a Recommendation
If you have a lawyer you already know and trust, you can ask them to refer you to an excellent medical malpractice attorney. Lawyers tend to have long lists of contacts collected over years of networking and litigation experience. They may also have a lawyer friend who could offer up a recommendation. If you don’t have a trustworthy attorney, you can speak with a friend or a family member who has used a lawyer in the past to ask their attorney for a recommendation.
Search For an Attorney Online
In this age of information at your fingertips, you can quickly perform an online search to find medical malpractice lawyers near you. Many sites have chat windows for you to instantaneously ask questions or get information about the services they offer. You can even speak to your specific case or keep it general. Websites often provide testimonials from past clients, information about the attorneys themselves, and areas of specialization.
Contact Your Local or State Bar Association
Most local or state bar associations offer referral services to connect you with a qualified attorney. To be listed with the local or state bar association with a specialty, such as medical malpractice, the attorney must prove a specified level of experience in that area. You can locate your local or state bar association via online search to connect and receive referrals for medical malpractice.
What Questions Should You Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Once you are connected with a medical malpractice attorney, you’ll want to have a list of questions to ask to ensure you’re hiring the right attorney for your case. These questions can include:
- How much experience do you have with medical malpractice? You’ll want to find a lawyer with significant experience with medical malpractice cases to represent you. This experience doesn’t need to mean that they are exclusively a medical malpractice attorney, but a fair share of their caseload should be medical malpractice.
- What kinds of medical malpractice cases have you handled? It’s to your benefit to find an attorney with experience with cases like yours because it lends to their knowledge base.
- How many cases have you settled, and how big have the settlements been? You’ll want to know if the attorney is capable of arranging a sizeable settlement to get you the compensation you deserve without getting caught up in court for years to come.
- How many medical malpractice trials have you handled, and how many have you won? If the case goes to trial, you want to have an attorney with experience to fight for you.
- How will you find medical experts? Medical malpractice attorneys often use medical expert witnesses to prove negligence or omission of a medical professional led to the injuries sustained by the patient. Therefore, your attorney needs to know how to find an expert specific to your case.
If you or someone you love has a potential medical malpractice case, contact the knowledgeable team at Alvarez Law today to receive your free consultation. We have a combined experience of over 200 years serving the seriously injured in Indiana and Illinois and have recovered more than $500 million for the injured. You can reach us by phone at 219-237-4661, utilize our online chat window, or complete our convenient online form, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.