Medical Malpractice Lawyer – Several different types of lawyers can practice in the law industry, often specializing in a particular area of law.
One common specialization for lawyers is medical malpractice, which focuses on helping people who experience lasting effects due to misconduct in a medical setting.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you’re interested in becoming a medical malpractice lawyer, you might benefit from learning about their career.
What is a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
A medical lawyer is more often referred to as a medical malpractice lawyer. These lawyers specialize in representing patients or family members of patients who experience medical malpractice and have lasting effects afterward. For example, a patient might hire a medical malpractice lawyer if their surgeon makes a mistake during a procedure that causes them additional illness or injury.
Medical lawyers can also help with cases that examine the practice of physicians, nurses, medical technicians, and other types of medical professionals. Their main goal is typically to secure payment for their clients that can help compensate them for their experiences.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice takes many forms. The most common may be medical errors. Whether or not medical mistakes are a leading cause of death, as once thought, they cause increased pain and suffering for victims of medical malpractice. Other types of medical malpractice and negligence include:
. Specialty treatment errors, such as emergency room treatment, dental and orthodontic treatment, or physical therapy.
. Poor Aftercare: After a patient gets the operation or treatment they need; they should get proper care to ensure their recovery progresses properly. If they don’t receive the right aftercare, they could suffer from other problems like infections or bleeding.
. Birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, oxygen deprivation, and shoulder and neck injuries.
. Failure to treat, either through misdiagnosis or improper assessment of the patient.
. Wrongful death that would have been preventable by prompt treatment or an earlier diagnosis.
. Product liability, including faulty scanning equipment, medication, and prosthetics.
. Surgical errors include operating on the wrong organ, erroneous amputation, or leaving surgical equipment inside the body.
. Anesthesia errors, over- or under-sedation, or anoxic-related injuries.
. Prescription Errors: This could be the doctor prescribing the wrong medication or the right medication but in the wrong dosage. The doctor must also consider how the medication might interact with other medicines the patient is already taking.
What Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Do?
Medical malpractice lawyers perform many of the day-to-day tasks of a typical civil litigator. Civil litigators work on cases where there’s a legal disagreement but no criminal charges are involved. Medical malpractice lawyers also perform additional tasks, such as:
. Case Evaluation and Consultation
One of the main duties of a medical malpractice lawyer is to evaluate potential causes. This is done for two typical reasons: one, to determine why this incident resulted in the victim’s injuries, and two, to help the healthcare system implement strategies to prevent similar future occurrences.
They carefully inspect medical records, consult medical professionals, and assess the circumstances to conclude a viable claim. During this process, malpractice lawyers consider important factors like acceptable standards of care, the interrelationship between negligence and harm, and the extent of damages or injuries to the patient.
. Negotiation and Settlement
In many medical malpractice cases, they are resolved through negotiation and settlement rather than going to trial. Attorneys representing the victim engage in discussions with the aggressor’s legal team and insurance companies to secure fair compensation.
Both legal teams speak for their clients; the defendant’s legal team seeks the least amount of expenses due to the plaintiff as possible, and the plaintiff’s legal team seeks the most amount of compensation from the defendant to accommodate pain and suffering, lost wages, and other destruction caused by the medical error.
. Gathering Evidence
Medical malpractice cases demand substantial evidence to validate the claim. Lawyers collaborate with clients to collect relevant medical documents, diagnostic tests, X-rays, and other pertinent records.
They may also gain assistance from medical experts who can provide second opinions on whether the doctor’s actions deviated from the standard of care. Likewise, the medical malpractice attorney may gather witness, patient, and healthcare staff testimonies to solidify the case further.
. Expert Consultation and Testimony
To win a medical malpractice case, attorneys must gain expertise from medical professionals to establish the standard of care and pinpoint negligent actions. Attorneys work closely with medical experts like doctors, surgeons, and other specialists to analyse the case from a healthcare perspective.
With their help, the medical malpractice attorney can gather opinions on the defendant’s breach of duty, cause of harm, and long-term effects on the patient.
Expert testimony is imperative in establishing negligence and strengthening the plaintiff’s case.
. Litigation and Trial
If a settlement cannot be reached, medical malpractice lawyers are prepared to take the case to trial. They meticulously prepare legal arguments, gather witness testimonies, and present compelling evidence in court.
During the trial, they skillfully cross-examine the defendant’s witnesses, deliver persuasive opening and closing statements, and fiercely advocate on behalf of their clients.
The ultimate goal? Convincing the jury or judge of the defendant’s negligence and championing the best outcome for the plaintiff.
Things to Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney
When you meet up with a malpractice attorney for legal advice, you should ask some questions at the initial consultation. Not all personal injury attorneys handle every PI practice area.
Asking upfront if they have experience in medical negligence cases will save both of you time and money.
Questions you need to ask during your case review include:
. What is the state statute of limitations on my case?
In most states, the statute of limitations starts on the date the injury happened or the date you found the injury. If your medical treatment was two years ago and the statute of limitations is three years, you’re almost out of time to file your claim.
However, you might have more time if the treatment caused an injury that you only discovered this week.
. What Will You Need to Prove My Case?
Ask what medical bills, reports, witness statements, or other documentation you need. Recent tort reform in some states has limited the number of expert witnesses in a medical malpractice case, so be sure you know what you need.
. Do you work on a contingency fee basis?
Most personal injury lawyers work under this system. Medical malpractice lawyers usually do the same, but you should inquire before retaining their services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements and qualities of a medical malpractice lawyer?
. JD from an ABA-approved school
. Must be licensed in your state.
. Medical malpractice experience, specifically with litigation support, deposition, and trial preparation
. Ability to manage full case-handling responsibilities, including all facets of discovery and trial
. Experience handling insurance defense matters is preferred.
. Experience with time management systems
. Proficiency in the MS Suite, specifically Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook
. Ability to think and act independently and with minimal supervision
. Outstanding listening, verbal, and written communication skills
. Professional appearance and demeanor
How Do I Know If I Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
You may need a medical malpractice attorney if you’ve:
. Caught an infection in the hospital or doctor’s office.
. Been injured in surgery
. Had a doctor failed to diagnose an injury or disease?
. Had anesthesia applied the wrong
. Been given the wrong prescriptions
. Not been informed of possible risks or consequences