Statistics show that errors in medical treatment are the third most common cause of death in America today.
We all like to think that we’re in safe hands when we’re in the care of doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
If a medical mistake has left you with an ongoing illness or injury, you may need to hire a medical lawyer to ensure that your interests are protected. Medical lawyers have a range of functions in this regard.
To learn more about the functions of medical lawyers, and whether you should hire one, keep reading.
What Is a Medical Lawyer?
A medical lawyer, also known as a medical malpractice attorney or medical malpractice lawyer, is a personal injury lawyer that specializes in cases involving improper or harmful medical care. They represent clients who have been the victim of such care in lawsuits against healthcare professionals, hospitals and other medical institutions, and insurance firms.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
At a basic level, medical malpractice is any mistake by a doctor or nurse. However, a successful medical malpractice lawsuit will require a little more than that.
For your lawsuit to be successful, there are two requirements. First, you must have a genuine illness or injury. Secondly, this condition must have arisen or become worse because of negligent medical treatment.
This means that you won’t be able to sue for medical malpractice unless you actually suffered an illness or injury. If you were lucky enough to escape negligent medical treatment unscathed, you won’t be able to sue.
The legal issue of causation often arises in medical malpractice cases. You need to be able to show clearly that your condition didn’t come about because of something unrelated to your treatment.
When to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Case
If you’ve suffered an injury or illness solely due to the negligent treatment of a healthcare professional, you are entitled to pursue a medical malpractice case. There are a few different scenarios in which medical malpractice claims are commonly successful.
Failure to Make an Accurate Diagnosis
This is perhaps the most common reason for medical malpractice suits. If your doctor fails to make an accurate diagnosis of your illness at the right time, it can expose you to huge unnecessary risk. Diseases like cancer are much easier to treat if doctors find them early.
You should note that the aforementioned issue of causation is highly relevant here. It may be difficult to prove that your condition had a worse outcome than if your doctor had diagnosed you correctly at the earliest opportunity.
Improper Use of Anesthetic
Anesthesia is an essential part of any major surgery. If your doctors administer the wrong amount of it, you could end up semi-conscious during your procedure.
Mistakes by dentists also come under the remit of medical malpractice. While a dental issue will almost never be life-threatening, improper dental work can have severe consequences in terms of aesthetics and pain.
Mistakes by surgical doctors during procedures are relatively common. Patients can come out of surgery with pieces of equipment left under their skin, or have surgery performed on the incorrect part of their body.
Mistakes around the prescription of medications can cause a host of issues. Liability might attach to several different individuals here, including the pharmacist who sells the medicine.
Childbirth can be a tricky procedure from a medical perspective. If a doctor or midwife makes a bad slip during a difficult birth, major health complications can arise for both mother and child.
What to Look for in a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, the first thing you need to do is contact a lawyer. The incident may be difficult to deal with on an emotional level; if so, speaking to a lawyer could be the last thing on your mind. However, it’s imperative that you take this step as soon as you feel able.
A good medical malpractice lawyer will have a range of experience, both in the general field of personal injury and in medical malpractice specifically. This is perhaps the most important characteristic your attorney should have; a lack of experience makes a lawyer a lot more prone to simple mistakes, which could prove costly for you.
Courtroom experience is a must. You need a lawyer who is able to state your case clearly and effectively in front of a judge.
However, private negotiation skills are also key. Most medical malpractice cases reach a settlement outside the courtroom, so your lawyer needs to be able to seek a fair deal for their clients.
Aside from legal skills, your lawyer should be adept at meeting your personal needs. Personal injury cases can be long and emotionally draining, so you need your lawyer to be there for you when things get tough.
Getting the Result You Deserve After Medical Malpractice
Considering the current global situation in relation to COVID-19, reliable medical care is more important than it has ever been. Thankfully, this is exactly what the majority of America’s healthcare professionals provide.
Unfortunately, mistakes happen. If you’re on the wrong side of one of these mistakes, the consequences can be devastating.
To minimize the impact poor medical treatment can have on your health and lifestyle going forward, you need to hire a medical lawyer as soon as you can after the incident.
If you’re in Brandon, Florida or a nearby area and you want to discuss your options in relation to a medical malpractice suit, contact us today.