We trust doctors, and usually with good reason. After all, doctors go to school for an extended period of time to become qualified and are experts within their chosen specialties. Unfortunately, though the instinct to trust doctors isn't necessarily wrong, there are cases over the years that have proven that doctors are not infallible. Some of the more notable cases of medical malpractice over the years have resulted in not only the temporary injury of victims but in permanent disability or even death.
It can be difficult to pursue any kind of personal injury lawsuit, let alone one that has you going up against a doctor. However, when someone has committed a wrong against you, you're right to pursue legal action. Furthermore, you don't have to pursue legal action alone. With the help of a good medical malpractice lawyer, you can see that the person who committed malpractice against you is held accountable.
What Makes a Case Medical Malpractice?
Unfortunately, not every surgery or treatment goes as was initially expected. A bad surgical outcome is not automatically malpractice. When having your initial consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer, you need to lay out every detail of your case and make sure that it is in fact clearly defined medical malpractice. What makes a situation medical malpractice is when it involves a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional injuring a patient through negligence or an omission. The error can really occur at any point in your medical treatment, whether it's during the initial diagnosis, the treatment or procedure itself, or during your aftercare or the ongoing management of your health.
Certain aspects would make a case medical malpractice under the law. These would include a violation of the standard of care, which would mean that those caring for you did not handle the basic duties that they would reasonably be expected to when responsible for your care. If the injury was caused by negligence, this would of course aid in having it declared malpractice. But furthermore, if the injury resulted in significant damages, it would become a viable medical malpractice case. As medical malpractice lawyers can tell you, these cases are often quite expensive and lengthy, though they can yield large settlements in turn. It would not be worth your time, or that of the attorney, to pursue a medical malpractice claim that was relatively minor. If you simply experienced minor pain for a short period of time following a surgery due to a doctor's negligence, this could potentially be malpractice, but it probably wouldn't be worth pursuing.
Do Medical Malpractice Cases Go To Trial?
The idea of going to trial over your medical malpractice case may be overwhelming, but the reality is that it isn't likely. About 96% of all personal injury cases are settled in the pre-trial phase, and with good reason. If your medical malpractice lawyer can prove your case, the hospital or individual will likely prefer to settle with you versus going through the bad press of having your case go to court. A settlement usually is meant to cover your medical expenses, as well as time taken off of work due to the injury, and any long term consequences of the injury, like disability or emotional trauma. A medical malpractice case can be tricky, but keep in mind that there is reason to believe that yours would be resolved in your favor if a lawyer is will to take it on. Usually, doctors and hospitals have malpractice insurance, which would presumably pay out your settlement. For many, however, pursuing a case isn't about money. Rather, it's about making sure that you receive justice, and that others don't go through what you do.