Medical malpractice is what occurs when medical professionals fail to give adequate treatment to patients and results in personal injury and substantial loss of income. Over 100,000 people die or sustain personal injury every year because of infections that they obtained in hospitals, unnecessary surgeries, and other medical errors.
Many individuals don’t know what legal rights they have under these circumstances. That is why it is vital to retain a medical malpractice lawyer. He will know the medical laws and what is needed to submit a claim more quickly and accurately. He will work with the hospital system and medical law and most of all, fight for your legal rights. Because malpractice law is so highly technical and specialized, it is very important that you obtain a qualified attorney. You should find how much experience he has in cases like this, how educated he is on current medical issues, how many cases he has taken to trial and the outcomes thereof.
The first thing you should do if you suspect medical malpractice is to obtain your medical records. Have your attorney examine and evaluate them to determine if malpractice did occur. If the case is strong enough, a written claim will be submitted to the parties responsible for the malpractice. Many people think that if they filled out a consent form for a particular procedure that the doctor or surgeon is then absolved of wrongdoing. This is simply not true. The consent form may list possible side effects and risks, but it does NOT allow for a physician be irresponsible in administering treatment.
Malpractice lawsuits can be a long, expensive, drawn-out process. As a result, many doctors prefer to settle out of court to avoid damage to their reputation and practice. No hospital wants months, even years, of bad publicity. But there are some cases that do go to court and win as well. Some recent cases were awarded the following:
* Parents of a boy in Wisconsin were awarded $11.4 million after their son sustained brain injuries while in the care of a nurse and midwife at local hospital.
* In Massachusetts, a C-section was not performed quickly enough on an expectant mother. As a result, her son was born with severe brain defects due to a lack of oxygen. The lawsuit was settled out of court for $6 million.
* A doctor in West Virginia has had to pay $2.5 million to settle three different lawsuits as a result of several botched surgeries.
* The Cleveland Clinic settled a lawsuit out of court for $10 million to a woman whose son sustained permanent brain injuries. The records as to how he received those injuries are sealed.
* A $1.3 million settlement was reached in California when several deaths at an elderly care facility were linked to negligence and abuse.
* A breast cancer surgeon was forced to pay $9 million when a patient died. The patient had been in her care for some time but was not diagnosed with cancer until it was too late.
There has become quite a stigma to the filing of frivolous lawsuits. But if you or a loved one has suffered harm because of a medical professional’s negligence, then please do not feel that your situation is “frivolous.” It is a serious matter and you need the law on your side to help you. If you receive a medical malpractice settlement, it will likely not right the wrong that was performed, but it will give you the financial resources to get beyond it, and should also teach the doctor and hospital a lesson that they need to be more careful with the next patient so the same thing does not occur again for someone else.