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10 Things You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice

Everyone has been to the doctor at some point in their lives. Even the hardcore, anti-medical industry enthusiasts were born somewhere – probably a hospital. Whether you believe in the system or not, when you need care you must find a way to trust doctors to produce the best results.

Although doctors have no incentive (unless contracted illegally under the table) to practice medicine subjectively towards you, accidents and incompetence do occur. If you feel that you or a loved one have been a victim of a malpractice situation, make sure that you listen up to the following list.

medical-malpractice-photoBe Prepared For a Malpractice Lawsuit

The Most Important Step – Make sure to consult a seasoned malpractice lawyer for information about your case. Do not be humble about any of the details of the case and make sure to provide all evidence and possible witnesses that you may have. It is essential to inform the lawyer of all possible angles and never leave out details about the health of the patient in question – these little details could be the difference between a losing case and a winning settlement.

Case Strength Is Based On A Standard

The medical community determines the standard of care in a medical malpractice suit. (i.e. the professional practices of other doctors in the medical community who are unbiased in your current case). Malpractice is usually won or lost based on the professional opinions of doctors or medical specialists in the particular field.

There are No Limits or Exceptions

A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against any person or facility that provides medical care. Therefore, hospitals are not the only defendants against a malpractice case – pediatric doctors, specialty doctors, and outpatient facilities are also subject to a possible lawsuit. Make sure that you know your rights.

Always Work With A Professional – Never attempt to represent yourself in court or file a case against a medical office alone. Unlike you, bigger medical facilities have quality control offices and lawyers on call for possible lawsuits. In addition, most negligence and accidental injury malpractice cases are cases that the doctors or hospital involved are already aware of.

For example, if you worked at a hospital and know that you forgot to give an elderly man medicine he needed to survive, you would probably consult with your hospital manager or legal team before attempting to cover up the situation. Hospitals usually know when they have made a mistake and rarely come forward with honest replies to families or friends of the victim after foul play.

You Can Request Records At Any Time

Hospitals and outpatient facilities must provide you with medical records and full documentation of your visits upon request. If you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit against a hospital or well-known, bigger medical outpatient center, you may want to consult your lawyer first. He or she will tell you exactly what documents and records you need to request and how to go about doing it.

Although this is just a theory, I believe that because medical records are all internal some offices alter information if they know that foul play was involved. For example, after the elderly man dies from not receiving his pill, the hospital may still note that the pill was given to cover their tracks. If there is a fatality and a serious accusation against the medical facility, your lawyer may recommend that you conduct an autopsy of the body. Information from this report will prove vital of foul play and malpractice cases.

These Cases Can Last Forever – Any lawsuit can take extensive time and money to reach completion, but malpractice cases require a lot of evidence and questioning, which requires multiple court appearances and legal work. If you are paying a lawyer by the hour then you are going to be poor before the case is even settled. Make sure that you are consulting with successful, reputable lawyers with seasonal track records who do not charge a fee unless your suit is decided in your favor.

Make Sure That You’re Committed

There are statutes of limitation when it comes to filing a malpractice case. Each state has a different requirement, but all states do have a “window of opportunity” to file a case so don’t wait too long.

It’s Not Like the Old Days – Back in the ’80s and ’90s, patients were filing left and right for malpractice claims because the cases were often subjective and the responsible party (the medical facility) would be required to pay a settlement for damages. Well, this got out of hand over the years when people were receiving millions of dollars in damages for a simple foot injury malpractice. Unfortunately, this caused the courts to re-evaluate the claims and since the 2000s, malpractice claims have declined because you just don’t get that much even if you win.

What is the Most Common Malpractice?

Believe it or not, most malpractice cases occur when doctors and medical personnel become too complacent at their jobs. Therefore, seasoned veterans in the field are actually more susceptible to a malpractice case than newly hired medical students. Most of the cases are incompetency through complacency.

Insurance Companies Want to Settle – No one wants to go to court because the court is where the real money is lost. Therefore, the insurance companies that will be writing you a check would rather write you a small check than a big one 6 months later in court. Unless you have a very strong case with a lot of potential money to be made, you may want to take the deal they offer.

Honorable Mention

They Can’t Hold It Against You — If you file medical malpractice against a medical facility, they are not able to reject you as a patient in the future — this is discrimination against you for previous claims. If the case becomes a high-profile claim, you may want to relocate your care to avoid possible sabotage.

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