People go to the doctor to get better. Doctors and nurses are trusted with the care of you and your loved ones. Medical professionals are highly trained and are dedicated to helping your family members live healthy lives. Unfortunately, though, accidents happen. Accidents in the medical field often have serious consequences for patient health, sometimes they’re even fatal. That’s when you consult with a medical malpractice attorney.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases fall under personal injury law. The legal definition for medical malpractice is when a healthcare provider goes outside of the recognized “standard of care” in treating a patient. This means the medical professional made a decision that other reasonable medical providers would disagree with. Basically, the law helps hold medical professionals accountable if they act negligently. If this negligence causes injury or other damages to a patient, the patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be difficult because this form of personal injury takes many different forms. Some examples of medical malpractice include premature discharge from the hospital, failure to order proper testing or improper medication or dosage. It’s important to understand that bad outcomes in healthcare are not always cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Before taking your case to court, talk with an attorney who specializes in personal injury law. It’s important to get someone with experience in this area because medical malpractice cases can be expensive and challenging legal battles.
Selecting a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Selecting the best attorney to represent your medical malpractice claim is an important first step. Look at Board-Certified lawyers who specialize in personal injury law and belong to professional trial lawyers’ associations. Research online reviews and make some phone calls. You want to have a good relationship with your attorney, so find the best one to partner with you through your unique situation.
When you meet with an attorney to talk about a potential medical malpractice case, make sure to ask lots of questions at your initial consultation. Ask the attorney if there’s a deadline for filing your medical malpractice claim. If you got treatment in another state, find out if there are any additional legal steps involved in the process.
Taking the Next Steps
Once you have an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side, it will be easier to walk through the next steps. You’ll want to contact the medical professional involved and learn more about what went wrong. Your attorney will contact a medical review board. Some states require a medical assessment to confirm your health status. Once that’s completed, your attorney will file a document called a “certificate of merit.” Many medical malpractice cases are settled outside of the courtroom. If this is the case, your attorney will guide you through that process.