Getting the help you need after suffering an instance of medical malpractice is essential to your future and overall well-being. Knowing what steps to take is not always easy, though, especially if you are still dealing with the aftermath of a doctor’s error.
The good news is that you do not have to go through this alone. Read on to find out how a lawyer can help you with your medical malpractice case. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions about the benefits of working alongside a knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
No one expects to seek medical treatment only to end up worse off than when they began. Sadly, health care professionals who are negligent or otherwise deviate from the standard of care cause real, lasting harm to victims.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to survive medical malpractice, either. Medical errors cause an estimated 251,000 deaths each year. This statistic makes medical errors the third most common cause of death in the United States.
Medical malpractice can occur at any point in the health care system, from when you initially seek a diagnosis to concluding treatment plans. Doctors’ offices, ambulatory clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals are not as safe as you might think. Here are some examples of medical malpractice:
- Misdiagnosis – This is when your doctor misinterprets the signs and symptoms of an illness and makes an incorrect diagnosis.
- Missed Diagnosis – Sometimes called failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis, this occurs when your doctor does not recognize the symptoms of your medical condition and makes no diagnosis whatsoever.
- Surgical Error – A surgical error is any type of preventable error during surgery, including operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient.
- Medication Error – This is when you receive the incorrect medication or dosage. The error may occur either in the prescribing or dispensing of medications.
- Birth Injury – These are preventable errors that occur during childbirth that can harm both mothers and babies. They often involve failure to recognize signs of distress during labor.
One of the most important things to note is that these examples are all virtually preventable errors. As a patient, you understand that some things about your health are simply outside of your and your doctor’s control. This does not involve things like neglect or ignoring the standard of care, though.
Proving Fault in a Medical Malpractice Case
Unfortunately, many doctors will try to find the quickest and easiest way out of a medical malpractice claim. Some might try to claim your outcome was expected given your condition or argue that they acted within the scope of care for their position. There is often a lot of victim-blaming involved as part of this.
This deflective tactic can be tiresome when it is up to you to prove fault in a medical malpractice claim. You likely do not have the breadth of medical knowledge that is necessary to prove that your medical provider’s actions did not meet the standard of care for your condition. Instead, you’ll need to bring in an outside medical expert who can evaluate your condition as well as your doctor’s actions. It’s in a situation like this where having a medical malpractice attorney on your side can be invaluable.
The Role of a Medical Malpractice Attorney
You do not have to take on the insurance company and health care system all on your own. Here are just a few ways in which working with a lawyer can prove helpful:
- Talking With the Insurance Company – Negotiating with the insurance company can eat up invaluable time that you could be spending on your recovery. When you work with a medical malpractice lawyer, they will spearhead conversations with the insurance company. This can also limit any opportunities for the insurance company to use any misunderstandings against you.
- Establishing a Doctor-Patient Relationship – To pursue a medical malpractice claim, you must first establish that you had a doctor-patient relationship with your physician. While this might seem obvious, your lawyer can help walk you through the process of laying down this initial fact.
- Finding Another Medical Expert – Part of proving fault is showing that your doctor’s actions did not meet the standard of care. You may need to bring in the expertise of another medical expert, which your attorney can help you find, to establish this.
- Handling and Filing the Correct Documents – Medical malpractice claims are document-heavy legal cases. A lawyer can help you interpret, fill out, sign, and file the correct paperwork along with necessary supporting documentation.
- Understanding Your Potential Award – The end goal of a medical malpractice claim is to secure the necessary compensation for your recovery and related damages. Your attorney should help you determine the amount of your potential award, as well as what factors helped them reach that conclusion.
- Avoiding Costly Mistakes – Even seemingly minor mistakes made during the filing process, in supporting documents, or at other points along the way can negatively impact the outcome of your medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice attorneys are familiar with common errors claimants make and can help you avoid them.
- Negotiating the Best Possible Settlement – Most medical malpractice lawsuits ultimately end in settlements rather than in court. Getting the best possible settlement is key to your future recovery.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of working with legal counsel is simply knowing that you do not have to go through the entire process by yourself. Suffering an injury due to medical neglect or error can be an isolating experience, both physically and emotionally. Simply knowing that you have someone on your side can be a game-changer.
There are many steps to an Arkansas medical malpractice lawsuit, many of which are tedious and time-consuming. You should not have to deal with this all by yourself, especially on top of focusing on your rehabilitation. Instead, you can schedule a free consultation with McMath Woods P.A. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your situation with someone who understands what you are going through.