The concept of medical malpractice seems to offend a lot of doctors and their insurance providers because it can be so expensive for them. However, the argument of a medical provider not performing as he should professionally is also what makes sure that doctors and medical entities take the necessary steps to ensure good practices and performance, especially when it affects someone’s life permanently.
The above said, pursuing a medical malpractice case is definitely not as easy as pursuing a car accident responsibility. While the concept does fall under the same general area of law, negligence, a variety of complex challenges exist that make such cases require expertise and the correct resources.
Four major issues consistently impact claims for medical malpractice, regardless of the issue or the size of the case:
- First, the field of medical malpractice as a negligence claim is governed by state laws which vary considerably from state to state. Some states can be vague while others are very specific on what is allowed. Others can be very pro-business while their counterparts can be very consumer-friendly. These positions also shift over time as state populations change as well as political majorities. As a result, laws get rewritten, changing who has the upper hand in a given state.
- Second, unlike an average negligence case, medical malpractice questions the professional duty and skill of a medical provider. As a result, it almost always requires the input and examination of another doctor to point out where a given provider made a mistake. This mistake, or failure to meet a “standard of care,” is a critical element in proving and winning a malpractice case.
- Third, medicine is not perfect. Everybody generally understands that the medical field is far from performing guaranteed services that always make people better every time. As a result, a case has to be able to show that all things considered, and the risks understood, that a doctor still grossly veered off the normal path other doctors would have taken with a patient and doing so caused the harm claimed. Again, this hurdle requires the help of medical experts and their opinions about what should have been done instead.
- Finally, a patient has to have suffered some kind of recognizable harm. It’s not enough to say treatment was bad or, if the more expensive tool had been used the patient would have healed faster. If the person healed as can be expected in general, a case is weak. The harm suffered needs to be significant and often permanent in nature so that it reduced or took away from a person enjoying his normal life again.
Don’t go it alone. Hire an experienced medical malpractice law firm
Not every firm that deals in negligence will have the depth or experience to handle medical malpractice cases as best as possible. This, in turn, often leads to cases being settled for far less recovery than possible or even being dismissed. Because of all the above and more, using the right attorney and representation is critical for the success of a medical malpractice case. Such attorneys often have to be well-versed in the unique aspects of medical negligence under a given state’s laws, as well as know whom to rely on for case support and expertise. Choosing the right counsel at the beginning probably represents the biggest influence a person can have on his own case and its success.