When a patient suffers harm or death due to a medical error, it is critical that the patient and their family seek help from an experienced lawyer and legal team knowledgeable in medical malpractice claims.
Choosing the best legal team is critical, not only because medical malpractice claims are complex, but because most doctors are represented by aggressive defence attorneys who will fight for dismissal at all costs.
Medical malpractice can include failures to diagnose, failures to treatment, birth injuries, surgical errors, and medication errors. It is imperative to find a medical malpractice lawyer who has experience in the type of claim you are pursuing.
How can you tell when you have experienced medical malpractice?
Several factors must be present for it to be considered a medical malpractice case.
1. There was a doctor-patient relationship
A valid malpractice lawsuit must show that the patient had a medical relationship with the healthcare professional in question. Duty of care cannot exist where there is no professional relationship. You must show that you hired the professional for their service, and they accepted.
2. There was negligence on the part of the medical professional
All medical professionals are expected to uphold a standard of care. They are required to offer reasonable care that any similarly qualified professional can provide under the same circumstances. All medical malpractice lawsuits must prove that the medical professional did not uphold this standard level of care.
To do this, you will most likely need to present a medical expert who can testify about the lack of standard care. The healthcare professional you intend to sue needs to be negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment.
3. The healthcare provider’s negligence caused injury
In many cases, medical professionals will treat patients with pre-existing conditions. This is why medical malpractice cases always need to assess whether the professional’s negligence directly led to harm or injury.
As the patient and plaintiff, you need to show that it is more likely than not your doctor’s incompetence that led to the injury. Again, you will need to produce a qualified medical expert to testify that the damage directly correlates to the professional’s negligence.
4. Your injuries led to particular damages
When a medical professional acts below the expected standard of care but no harm or injury results, you cannot sue them for malpractice. Therefore, you must show that the harm resulted in specific damage. Some harm from your malpractice suit claim can include:
- Additional medical bills
- Enduring hardship
- Lost work or earning capacity
- Mental anguish
Advice for Choosing the Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you plan to make a medical malpractice claim against a healthcare professional, the most important factor is hiring the right attorney. Follow this advice to help you pick the right legal representation to help you during your case.
1. Assess medical malpractice experience and background
When looking for the best medical malpractice lawyer, you will want to research their experience and background. A reliable attorney needs to have extensive medical malpractice experience and preferably experience it in the same area as your case.
You must interview all the attorneys on your shortlist so you can recognize who has the most valuable experience to help you with your case. You can conduct interviews over the phone or in-person.
It’s best to go with a law firm dedicated to litigating medical malpractice cases, like the professional medical negligence attorneys at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh.
2. Are they able to deliver a medical expert for testimony?
There is a high chance that your medical malpractice suit will require a medical expert to testify on your behalf. You will need to know if your attorney can get one. You will want to employ a medical expert who can break down complex medical concepts and terminologies that non-medical people can understand. You’ll also want a medical expert who is adept at not only communication but persuasion as well.
3. Figure out if they will require you to settle
In most cases, medical malpractice lawsuits result in settling out of court. The main advantage is that you and your attorney can get paid quickly compared to going to a full-on trial.
Because of this, some lawyers make it a habit to settle, even when it is not satisfactory. So before you hire an attorney, ask them if they will expect you to settle regardless. If you have a lawyer who has your best interests in mind, they will opt for trial if the settlement offer is inadequate despite their best attempts to settle fairly.
4. Check their fees
No matter how experienced the law firm, if you cannot afford their pricing, then they won’t be of much help to you. Make sure you ask how your attorney is planning to bill you and how much they will charge for their services before you sign a contract.
Most malpractice lawyers will charge based on a contingency. Meaning they will take the case and then take a percentage of their earnings from whatever amount you win. The range for contingency fees is between 20% to 50%.
To learn more about how to find a medical malpractice lawyer, call Sommers Roth & Elmaleh at 1-844-777-7372 or contact us here.