Medical professionals have a legal, professional, and, above all, humanitarian responsibility to do no harm. They’re specialists who have devoted their lives to taking good care of their patients, and that’s why we can trust them with our lives. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, there are times when things go terribly wrong within a hospital’s walls or under a physician’s care. If you’ve suffered significant damage due to a physician’s medical malpractice, you can be entitled to more than one kind of compensation.
However, winning a case of medical malpractice is no walk in the park. For that, here’s what you need to know to deal with medical practice and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact The Medical Professionals In Question
The first thing you should know is that just because the outcome of the experience wasn’t what you wanted doesn’t mean you have a solid medical malpractice case. Before you take any legal steps, visit your physician and inquire about what happened. Ask them to explain what you find to have gone wrong. If it can be remedied, then it’s a win for everyone. If the physician refuses to cooperate, try contacting the relevant medical licensing board. They may issue warnings or disciplinary action to the physician in question and may even provide you guidance down the line.
Hire A Medical Malpractice Attorney
Once you’re sure about pursuing the claim, you’ll need to start your preparations. Your best bet will be to find a good medical malpractice attorney who builds up the case with you and ensures your win. That’s because, as Nancy from https://www.erlegal.com/ elaborates, proving medical malpractice, much less winning the case, is one of the trickiest fields in personal injury law. To get a good idea of what you’ll be facing, there are four criteria for proving medical malpractice: a doctor-patient relationship, negligence, causation, and harm.
A doctor-patient relationship is easy to understand. Its goal is to prove that you hired the doctor, and they agreed to be hired. You didn’t merely sue a doctor for following their advice you overheard at a party. To prove negligence, you must show evidence of medication error, misdiagnosis, unnecessary procedure, or anything that proves the physician has failed to uphold their professional obligation to provide standard medical care. Causation links the negligent actions of the physician to the harm you’ve suffered since not all forms of negligence result in damage. Finally, the harm describes the material damage the patient suffered, which can refer to illness, lost wages, medical bills, mental suffering, or even wrongful death.
Understand The Kind Of Compensation You Can Get
There are three categories of damages in medical malpractice law: general, special, and punitive. General damages are those that affect the victim’s quality of life, like mental suffering, loss of employment, loss of future earning capacity, or physical pain. Since it’s hard to put a price label on those kinds of damage, it’s usually determined by case. Special damages can be more easily quantified, like medical bills and the cost of lost billable work hours. In special cases, the patient can also receive compensation for punitive damages. The laws governing punitive damages vary according to state, but, essentially, it refers to medical malpractice cases in which the physician intentionally behaved in a harmful manner. In cases concerning a patient’s death, the patient’s relatives can also receive survival statutes or wrongful death statutes.
File The Medical Malpractice Claim
At this point, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to prove medical malpractice. Your next step will be to file a certificate of merit, a state requirement that proves you’ve suffered injuries due to a physician’s negligence. Keep in mind that there’s a time limit to when you can file for a claim, also known as the statute of limitation, and it varies depending on the state. If you fail to file your claim within this period, you’ll risk waiving your rights to getting any compensation.
Start The Negotiations
You can finally start the negotiations now, whether it’s with the defendant or their insurance company. Keep in mind that it’s always better to settle out-of-court rather than go the long road, but that’s only if you’re able to get the compensation you deserve. If not, then be prepared to go to court for your rights.
Out of all the personal injury law sub-specialties, medical malpractice is the hardest to prove. There are just too many factors that could affect the outcome of the process, making it difficult to link the physician’s negligence to the harm done. However, if you succeed in doing so, then you undoubtedly have a strong case that you can win.