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If you have been harmed due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may have rights that will compensate you. However, malpractice cases are often difficult to navigate, and it can be hard to know when a medical error rises to the level of malpractice. Thus, it is important to contact a top medical malpractice attorney when looking to get the best possible outcome.

How Common is Medical Malpractice?

People are harmed every day by medical error and the negligence of healthcare professionals. Hospitals, dental offices, doctor’s offices, surgical centers and pharmaceutical companies can all be at least partially responsible for serious complications, injuries and even death. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), system-wide failings and poorly coordinated care is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind cancer and heart disease.

Types of Medical Malpractice

There are certain types of medical errors that are the basis of most successful malpractice suits. Here are the most common:

Misdiagnosis

Many malpractice disputes arise from a misdiagnosis. If a person is misdiagnosed, proper treatment is delayed which can cause their condition to worsen. An example of this would be a physician diagnosing a patient with a gastric problem, when in fact they were having a heart attack.

Failure to Treat

Sometimes a doctor makes the correct diagnosis but fails to administer proper treatment in accordance with the acceptable standard of care. This type of malpractice case is known as “failure to treat.” An example of this would be discharging a patient too soon or the lack of follow up treatment, which can cause the patient’s condition to worsen.

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are another common mistake that constitutes a medical malpractice lawsuit. While some surgical errors are the direct result of a doctor’s incompetence, most are caused by poor planning or inadequate procedures. Some examples would include accidentally leaving equipment inside the patient’s body, operating on the wrong area or performing unnecessary surgery.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are among the most heartbreaking types of medical malpractice and can occur in many forms. Some examples of include brachial palsy injuries, facial paralysis, brain injuries and fractures.

Prescription Errors

Medical malpractice involving prescription drugs is extremely common. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, medication errors harm approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. annually. These types of cases include prescribing the wrong dosage, prescribing medication the patient is allergic to, or failing to warn a patient of common side effects.

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Basic Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim

When a medical professional has made an error during treatment, one of the first things to consider is the impact it had on the health and well-being of the patient. Once this has been ascertained, the next step is to determine whether or not an error made during the administration of healthcare would qualify as malpractice.

For malpractice litigation to be successful at trial, several elements will have to be demonstrated by the medical malpractice lawyer representing the plaintiff. The attorney will have to show:

1) a doctor-patient relationship existed
2) the doctor failed to treat the person in accordance with the acceptable standard of care for the medical procedure performed, thereby demonstrating a breach of the healthcare provider’s duty to the patient (also known as medical negligence)
3) the physician’s negligence caused the injury
4) the injury lead to specific damages such as physical pain, metal anguish, additional medical bills and inability to work

Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical error or negligence, it’s important to hire an experienced lawyer to tell you how to proceed with your case. Malpractice lawsuits are often complicated, intimidating and involve endless paperwork. Without the advice of an experienced attorney near you, it can be difficult to know the value of a claim and negotiate the best settlement possible.

Medical malpractice rules, which are governed by personal injury and tort law, are used to determine when a medical provider is at fault and liability to a person receiving services. A valid claim can arise when the provider administers care in a manner that qualifies as negligent, or when an outright error has been made.

Affidavit of Merit

Due to tort reform, many states have laws requiring plaintiffs to file an affidavit from a medical professional that supports the validity of their claim. This sworn statement will help the court understand precisely what claim is being made and whether or not the harm was a result of malpractice. While the validity of certain elements may be further probed during trial, the affidavit will also help demonstrate whether the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for the harm they have suffered.

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Delivering Expert Testimony

Proving that someone experienced great harm as a result of a medical error can be a complicated process, and in many situations, extremely technical debates are held in court to establish how particular actions (or lack thereof) are tantamount to malpractice. As a result, it is often necessary to bring experts into the courtroom to explain the specific circumstances that may qualify as medical malpractice.

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Navigating Complex Laws

Throughout the process, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to address many issues relating to certain regulations and procedures. Thus, it is essential the law firm you hire is well acquainted with the intricacies of malpractice law. Taking the wrong steps can result in serious consequences, including the dismissal of the case. For this reason, you need to find an experienced legal team that well-versed in laws and procedures governing medical malpractice. With a good attorney who specializes in medical malpractice law at your side, all questions will be answered and the entire process will run smoothly.

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Proving Malpractice

It’s important to remember that proving malpractice is not simply a matter of demonstrating error or negligence. A case must be made that the specific harm was a direct causal result of the actions of the healthcare professional. Because it can be tricky to demonstrate this has occurred, you’ll need to find an experienced attorney to handle a medical malpractice suit.

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How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Cost?

If you’re considering hiring a local medical malpractice attorney, you may be wondering how much it costs. In most cases, attorneys who handle these types of lawsuits work on a contingency basis. With a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer is paid a percentage of the settlement. This means that if the litigation doesn’t end in your favor, you won’t have to pay any legal fees at all.

How to Find the Best Legal Representation in Your Area

Looking for a top rated law firm in your area can be challenging, especially during a malpractice case. Due to the complexities involved with malpractice litigation, there are a number of questions you may have. Are their legal services recommended by previous clients? Do they have positive reviews online? What type of fee structure do they accept and how much will it cost?

Legal Jack helps people across the U.S. find reputable and affordable lawyers quickly. We understand the emotions and stress involved with many malpractice cases, and are motivated by our desire to help people during these difficult times. To schedule a free consultation with a top rated attorney, give us a call today.

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