Medical Malpractice FAQs
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider — a doctor, nurse, dentist, hospital or hospital worker — whose performance of duties departs from a standard of care of those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient or patients. The profession itself sets the standard for malpractice by its own custom and practice.
Do I need a lawyer to pursue a medical malpractice case?
Yes. Medical malpractice cases are very complex and difficult to pursue, and can be quite expensive to litigate. Our firm will obtain all of the proper medical records, laboratory results, pathological reports and all other data resulting from testing that may be relevant to your case.
What sort of damages can be recovered from a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Medical expenses for treating the injuries caused by the malpractice; damages for pain and suffering; disfigurement and disability damages; lost wages and ability to earn wages in the future; in appropriate circumstances, the law permits damages to be recovered by spouses, children and parents of negligently injured people for the loss of the love, care, affection, companionship and other pleasures of the family relationship lost due to malpractice.
Will my case go to trial if we do have to file suit?
While many personal injury lawsuits are settled before trial, our office prepares for every case as if it might ultimately be decided by a jury. We strongly believe in being prepared in the event that an agreement cannot be reached, and we leave no stone unturned to ensure a positive result for our clients. We will aggressively pursue resolution so that the process does not become unduly difficult, burdensome or expensive.
Who can be sued for medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is not limited to medical doctors. It applies also to nurses, dentists, osteopaths, health care facilities, and others providing healthcare services, such as nursing homes.
Who will receive money after a successful lawsuit for a birth injury?
If a living child suffers harm due to an avoidable birth injury, damages awarded as part of a successful lawsuit will typically go to the child, sometimes in the form of a trust. Parents can receive compensation for emotional distress damages in some situations.
What if my insurance company or Medicare/Medicaid paid for the treatment that I believe was malpractice – can we make a claim even though no monies actual came from my pocket?
Absolutely. It makes no difference who paid for the medical expenses. Healthcare providers are required by law to render care and treatment based on the acceptable standard of care.
What if I was admitted as an emergency to the hospital and I do not know the names or the doctors because they were not my regular doctors?
All doctors, nurses and healthcare providers are required by law to document in the medical chart who did what, when and why. There will be a record of the treatment that you received that can be easily obtained with your written authorization.
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Please note that the above answers to these questions should not be construed as legal advice, as all situations differ, and you should always consult the advice of an lawyer before making any decisions regarding injury claims or other legal matters referred to herein. These answers are intended to provide general information only.