Medical malpractice refers to the negligent or careless practice of medicine. This can be by a medical doctor, a dentist or some other licensed medical person. The key words here are “negligent” or “careless.” Medicine is not an exact science, and diagnosis can involve a variety of different factors. While most medical diagnoses are routine, complications or past medical history or any number of other elements can cause a misdiagnosis. In order for it to be malpractice, the diagnosis must be shown to be outside standard practice. Because this can be a complex and sometimes delicate procedure, your medical malpractice lawyer has received extensive training, both in the classroom and in practice.
Establishing the Case
The process of showing that a diagnosis or treatment was malpractice or that patient treatment was in some way out of the normal way, can be extremely complex. It will usually involve the testimony of a doctor not involved with the original diagnosis. This can be difficult to obtain since doctors might feel obligated to protect members of their own profession or local organizations. Sometimes proof can require a consultation with an out-of-state doctor to obtain the necessary second diagnosis. Your lawyer can help you with contacting the right people and gaining medical opinions that will have weight in your case.
Becoming a Malpractice Lawyer
A malpractice lawyer begins with the normal legal training required of any lawyer. He or she must obtain an undergraduate degree, then a graduate degree in law. This is followed up with passing the bar examination in the state where the new lawyer wishes to practice. In addition, a malpractice lawyer should also register with membership in a certifying agency such as the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. To be accepted, he or she must pass rigorous requirements in education, examination, ethics, and practice.
Malpractice Lawyer on the Job
Once established, the lawyer will work diligently on behalf of patients who have to believe they have been misdiagnosed, incorrectly treated, or have sustained injury from a medical procedure. They work with medical experts, take depositions from qualified experts, gather and analyze medical reports concerning cases, help with setting up independent medical examinations, do medical research related to the patient’s condition, and work with legal nurse consultants to analyze the available material pertaining to a case.
Malpractice lawyers are often paid on a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the fee awarded to you.
Is it Malpractice?
Not every medical error can be considered a case of malpractice. There are two key elements in determining if a medical situation falls into the malpractice category. First, it is necessary to determine the normal standard of medical care for your condition in the location where it occurred. Second, your legal team must show how the doctor or other medical practitioner fell short of that standard. This is why medical experts are so vital to a medical malpractice lawsuit. An added question that must be answered is how the error has affected you. Medical mistakes can range from misplaced decimals (which can be scary with certain types of medicines) to surgery gone wrong. Once the malpractice has been established, the next step is to place a dollar value on the resultant difficulty. Malpractice can even include inappropriate disclosure of personal information – something that can have far-reaching results.
Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer Works for You
Your medical malpractice lawyer must engage in extensive training just to begin practice. Your lawyer has a vested interest in applying all due diligence to your situation. He or she can probably quickly establish whether you have a real case or not. Once that is determined, your lawyer will work conscientiously on your behalf. The money will not compensate for the loss of physical proficiency or loss of life, but it can help fill in the financial hardships that can be incurred. For some types of case, these can be considerable.
They can include not only the added expenses incurred because of the malpractice, but can also include loss of income, and even monetary compensation for emotional anguish. Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to guide you through the correct responses to receive the just amount of compensation for your circumstance.
Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney Attributes
- Diligent Medical Malpractice Action Lawyer
- Outstanding Work as Medical Malpractice Lawyer
- Persistent To Get Things Done
- Friendly and Helpful Medical Malpractice team
Medical Malpractice Functions
Negligent medical care generally results in significant medical expenses, lost wages and other significant economic losses. Of course, a person who has received negligent medical care is most often permanently injured and faces a lifetime of pain and suffering and mental anguish. Inevitably, the injured person’s spouse and entire family are impacted. Whether the injured person is a husband, wife or child, the lives of other members of the family are inalterably changed and result in greater burdens for all family members.
People who have been the victim of medical malpractice are entitled to recover damages for past and future medical expenses as well as lost wages and pain and suffering. An award for pain and suffering includes not only the physical pain which the person has endured, but also the mental anguish which accompanies that pain. Additionally, that individual has a right to recover economic costs such as the cost of changes to their home that are necessary and any new medical equipment that is needed due to a new disability. The spouse of the injured person may also have the right to recover for the loss of consortium or services and companionship of their spouse.
Medical malpractice actions are extremely complicated and expensive to pursue. The insurance companies that handle claims on behalf of the physicians and other medical professionals are very aggressive in defending claims against the physicians and hospitals they insure. In addition, the physician generally must consent to any settlement. This results in many cases being litigated. In the State of Georgia, a lawsuit cannot even be commenced unless the affidavit of a physician setting forth the negligence of the Defendant is attached to the complaint. Since many physicians will not give an affidavit against a fellow physician in the same city, a nationwide search for an expert to testify for the injured person may be required.