Since we all trust medical professionals to diagnose and treat our issues appropriately, we expect them to deliver flawless services. Unfortunately, any injury or harm caused by medical practitioners, whom we trust with our lives, can undoubtedly be a traumatic event. Medical malpractice can make a person go through a whirlwind of emotions, including frustration, betrayal, anger, disappointment, and stress.
Medical malpractice refers to the healthcare professional’s behavior or act that deviates from the standard medical practice. As a result, these professionals perform healthcare services negligently and fail to deliver the acceptable standard of care.
For instance, a healthcare professional may provide negligent treatment, make an error in diagnosis, or fail to provide quality aftercare services. And this, in turn, leads to either harm or severe injury to the patients. Not to mention how medical malpractice can lead a person to lifetime repercussions and a massive chunk of medical bills.
Patients who fall victim to medical malpractice or negligence often resort to the law to rectify the situation. Suppose you or someone close to you suffered negligence or medical error. In that case, you might want to claim rightful compensation for the sufferings you unnecessarily endured.
However, before you hold the healthcare practitioner or the entire facility accountable, you must consider a couple of factors well in advance to know what lies ahead. Therefore, here’s a list of things that you must take into account before filing a lawsuit:
Breach of duty
For a medical malpractice lawsuit to prevail, you must prove that the medical professional breached their duty of care. There are numerous ways medical professionals can breach their duty which could serve as the basis of a medical malpractice case.
For instance, they could prescribe incorrect medicines to their patients or expose them to harmful material such as asbestos. Since asbestos is utilized in a vast assortment of materials and equipment installed in healthcare facilities, getting rid of it completely has served as a challenge. And this carcinogen leads to various healthcare issues such as mesothelioma. But since healthcare professionals are aware of the adverse effects of asbestos, they should prevent the patients from being exposed to it. But if a patient develops mesothelioma because of their healthcare practitioner’s negligence, it falls under breach of care. And while there are mesothelioma treatment options available nowadays, there’s no cure for this cancer. That’s precisely why healthcare workers should be vigilant with such material.
So, if you’ve experienced such a situation, you are eligible for compensation. You can file a claim to recover future medical expenses, compensate for your monetary loss, emotional suffering, and reduced life expectancy.
Severity of injury
If you plan to go ahead with a lawsuit, it’s crucial to prove that the medical negligence caused severe damage or injury. Just because you don’t feel content and happy with the treatment results doesn’t imply that you can hold the medical professional accountable.
Quite often, medical malpractice cases involve previously sick or injured plaintiffs. And this eventually raises the question of whether the medical professional, be it negligent or not, was responsible for injuries. And the opposing party’s lawyer may argue that a pre-existing condition may have led you or your loved one to suffer severe injuries and illness. Therefore, your hired malpractice lawyer should show evidence indicating a reasonable connection between your injuries and the medical professional’s negligence.
The costs of legal action
Medical negligence claims aren’t ordinary; these lawsuits require exploring facts and scientific research studies. Also, there isn’t any assurance of you winning the case, nor any guarantee that you’ll receive the amount you seek as compensation if you win the case.
Moreover, medical malpractice lawsuits involve more than standard court fees and lawyer charges. Not to mention how these claims also need expert medical witnesses. And thus, such cases are too expensive to pursue. Therefore, filing a medical malpractice claim is worthwhile only if you suffer severe injuries or substantial financial loss.
So, if you want to file a malpractice claim, ensure to choose an attorney with comprehensive knowledge about medical treatments and interventions. And consult with your selected attorney to decide whether filing a lawsuit is the best course of action.
Probability of compensation
Sometimes, it becomes challenging to determine if what happened to you or your loved one was what counts as medical malpractice. For instance, did the medical professional make a slipshod error, or was it just one of the routine things that might have occurred? Therefore, it’s imperative to determine if the damage caused is worth the financial compensation before filing a claim.
The solicitors of medical negligence claims consider various factors for determining the compensation to ensure that the patient receives a fair sum of money. Some of these include loss of earnings, punitive damages, diminished life quality, and the length of the recovery period.
The doctor’s defense is generally well-funded; litigating these medical professionals can take years, which, in turn, becomes more traumatic for the plaintiff. So, suppose you think the only probable outcome of the lawsuit will be a small amount of financial compensation. In that case, it’s best not to pursue it.
Besides, if you lose the claim, the defendant party may go after you for the legal costs. However, if you prove that you sustained injuries or got harmed, you will most likely receive financial compensation.
Statute of limitations
Statute of limitations means the maximum time limit for both parties involved in a dispute to initiate the legal proceedings. If you report the medical malpractice claim after the statute of limitations has expired, you’ll no longer be eligible to begin legal actions. In simpler terms, the plaintiff has no right to bring the issue to the court if they take far too much time to report the malpractice issue.
In many cases, patients are aware of the negligent treatment of the healthcare practitioners or the healthcare organizations. However, there are few cases where patients remain unaware of the negligent treatment and experience issues afterward.
Although the statute of limitations may vary from state to state, it is advisable to commence the lawsuit within two years. However, suppose you don’t have the mental capacity or were under 18 when the medical malpractice occurred. In that case, the statute of limitations may be longer.
Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals fail to deliver the quality care expected; thus, causing harm or injury to the patient. If you or your loved one experienced medical malpractice, filing a lawsuit is a viable approach.
However, it is relevant to note that a complicated body of rules regulates medical malpractice laws, which might differ from state to state. What’s more, medical malpractice lawsuits are often extremely risky, time-intensive, and expensive to pursue. Therefore, it’s crucial not to take them lightly and understand the likely risks and potential implications.
Always ensure to engage a professional lawyer for your case, one who’s highly competent and well-versed with medical malpractice litigation. An experienced lawyer will walk you through different aspects of your case and go to all lengths to attain the best results.