Medical malpractice lawyers generally handle
medical malpractice cases
based on negligence claims
made by the injured parties against the doctors, hospitals, nursing
staff or other healthcare workers. Sometimes medical malpractice
lawyers specialize as birth
injury lawyers or brain
injury lawyers or another focal point within this area of
Medical malpractice lawyers may also handle
cases of dental malpractice
or malpractice due to wrong diagnosis, medication
errors or negligence in anesthesia, emergency rooms, LASIK
/ laser eye surgery or gastric
bypass cases among many other scenarios.
Mistakes in making the correct diagnosis, treatment, or illness
management may result in serious injury or fatalities. Medical
malpractice lawyers make healthcare professionals accountable
for their actions or inactions that have a negative impact on
Medical malpractice lawyers help those who are injured by the
negligence of a healthcare professional or facility recover damages
including the costs for subsequent medical care, loss of income,
pain and suffering and in some rare cases,
punitive damages as well. In most cases, the medical malpractice
lawyers will need to show that the healthcare provider breach
his or her duty to provide a reasonable standard of care to the
plaintiff and this breach resulted in an injury for which there
needs to be compensation.
Most cases of medical malpractice do not go to trial (95-percent)
and are settled out of court. For those that do go to trial, the
medical malpractice lawyers will generally call expert witnesses
such as other physicians to establish a standard level of care.
Basically, the expert witness will testify that as a reasonable
and prudent physician, they would have made different decisions
and handled matters differently and if the defendant would have
done the same, then no injury would have occurred. Standards of
care, vary from state to state so it is imperative for medical
malpractice lawyers to know the state law inside and out regarding
Over 225,000 deaths occur every year do to physician-induced
errors according to the esteemed Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA). Of these deaths, only 10-percent are investigated
by a medical malpractice lawyer due to confusion on the part of
the remaining family members and the complexities in investigating
medical malpractice cases. In addition to product liability lawyers,
this subset of personal injury lawyers handle the most complex
cases in the industry.
Tort reform has been passed in
many states which now puts caps on how much money a plaintiff
may recover and the attorneys' fees for medical malpractice lawyers.
In addition, most states have a 1 - 2 year statute of limitations
on medical malpractice claims so it is important to find out what
the laws are in one's particular state.
In some states, before a claim may be filed, medical malpractice
lawyers will have to file what is called a "certificate of
merit". In order to get a certificate of merit, the medical
malpractice lawyer will need an expert witness, who is usually
a physician, to go over the medical records and documents and
state that the doctor in question did deviate from standard medical
practice and procedures and that this deviation resulted in the
Medical malpractice lawyers not only seek damages from doctors,
but from hospitals as well. If a hospital employee such as a nurse
creates an injury due to negligence or intentional
tort, then the doctrine of "respondeat superior"
kicks in, which means that the employer is responsible for the
actions of its employee in the course of employment.
Generally speaking, there are no guarantees in medical treatment.
Injuries, unanticipated and unsuccessful results happen frequently,
which do not rise to the level of medical malpractice. Nonetheless,
since most cases go unreported or underreported, it is important
to check with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in medical
malpractice cases if you or a loved one has been injured and you
suspect that the injury is do to the negligence of your healthcare
professional. Time is of the essence since the medical malpractice
lawyer will need to collect important documents, depose witnesses
and file necessary papers by the filing deadlines in order to
assure that you indeed do have a case.