Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are held to a high standard of care, and most of the time they meet this standard. However, sometimes, this duty can fall by the wayside, and you can be injured by the person who was supposed to help you.
If a healthcare provider acts incorrectly or fails to act at a time when medical professionals with similar training and experience would have behaved differently, they are providing treatment that is “below the standard of care.” This negligence can put a patient at risk of injury or death. If it happens to you or a loved one, it may be time to call a medical malpractice lawyer who can file and settle your claim.
Unfortunately, medical errors occur more often than they should. A recent Johns Hopkins study suggested medical errors are the third-greatest cause of death in the United States, with only heart disease and cancer causing more deaths.
Medical malpractice attorney Ben Crump takes medical errors seriously, and he’s committed to helping you hold medical professionals accountable for their mistakes. If you believe you or a loved one may have been a victim of medical malpractice, Mr. Crump may be able to help you.
How Do You Know if You Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?
There are several moving parts in a medical malpractice case — this involves the complex worlds of both medicine and law. A typical case rests on your malpractice lawyer determining the following elements of medical malpractice:
Patient-Doctor Relationship: You must show an established relationship with your healthcare provider in the form of hiring or otherwise contracting their services. These services can only take place within their realm of employment, like a hospital or private practice.
Duty of Care and Breach of Duty: Professionals like doctors and nurses must perform to a certain standard established by the medical community. Your providers have a legal obligation to provide you with service consistent with those standards. A breach of duty is a negligent act or failure to act, like removing the wrong organ, seriously damaging the body near the surgical site, or leaving a tool in the body, among other things.
Causation: One of the most difficult aspects of a medical malpractice case is proving the fault of the practitioner. Documents, other medical treatments, and statements from healthcare providers are frequently used to show the relationship between your injury and a doctor’s negligence.
Damages: The injury caused by that negligence must have economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are objectively verifiable monetary losses, like past and future medical expenses, loss of past and future earnings, and a loss of employment or business opportunities. Non-economic damages are more subjective, and include pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life, among others.
What Kind of Medical Errors and Damages Are Common?
There are certain types of medical mistakes that medical malpractice lawyers see most often. Due to the complexity of the medical fields, injuries can arise from a variety of sources. Common sources include the following:
- Anesthesia errors like choosing the wrong drug or dosage, failure to monitor, failure to use machines correctly, or failure to act
- Emergency room errors like misreading charts, failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis, or failure to monitor
- Device errors like manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn
Medical professionals could be negligent at any stage of the process, ranging from your initial visit to the ER or clinic to the moment you leave their facility and start the recovery process. This is just a short list of potential ways you may be affected.
What Do Attorneys Do in Cases Like These?
A medical malpractice attorney can steward your legal claim through the courts and provide you with insight into the nature of your situation. Some of the ways an attorney will help include:
- Reviewing information and starting a preliminary investigation about your claim
- Determining things like the value of your claim, the responsible parties, and what you’re entitled to
- Handling court presentations and the burdensome rules that a state may place on claims
Even when facts and evidence line up in your favor, it’s crucial to have an attorney that can connect the dots for a judge and jury to see your side.
Is Medical Malpractice Difficult to Prove?
Medical malpractice claims are notoriously difficult to prove. Without the guidance, experience, and knowledge of this area of the law that a malpractice attorney has, it can be incredibly difficult for injured parties and their family members to go head to head with a large corporation or its insurers.
A lawyer will understand the kind of evidence that is needed to prove your case, and they can also call in expert witnesses on your behalf. This is often necessary to prove that a negative medical outcome was the direct result of medical malpractice.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice lawyer Ben Crump represents patients who have been injured by medical professionals on a contingency basis. Even if you don’t have money to pay a lawyer’s fees, that won’t be a problem. His fees will be deducted from your settlement or court award at the conclusion of your case. If he can’t get compensation for you, you don’t pay.
Representing yourself so you can keep more of your settlement can be a costly mistake. According to one study by the Institutes Insurance Research Council, settlements for injury victims can be as much as 40% higher if you choose to have an injury attorney represent you.
What Settlement Can I Get For My Medical Malpractice Injury?
Your injury could negatively impact your mind, your body, and your wallet. Common damages sought from healthcare providers in medical malpractice cases include:
- Medical expenses: When a patient is injured by his or her doctor, the patient may be burdened with unanticipated medical bills. This includes doctor visits, therapy, drugs, and other expenses. Future medical expenses may also be a factor.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering typically compensate for physical pain, but emotional distress like anxiety, depression, and other mental suffering can play a factor.
- Loss of consortium: Family members may be able to collect compensation after the loss of husband, wife, or parent through a wrongful death claim, or for more common circumstances following a medical error, like loss of sexual relations, companionship, affection, and comfort. This typically involves life-changing injuries. A loss of consortium indicates you were deprived of “family benefits” because of the defendant’s actions.
- Loss of wages or earning capacity: When it comes to medical errors, some injuries are so grievous you may never be the same. In these cases, seeking lost wages or damages for future earning potential may be reasonable.
Even when a doctor does not have malpractice insurance, you still have the legal right to file a claim. In some states, doctors are required to carry this coverage. However, in 32 states this is not the case.
What Ben Crump Can Do For You
Finding a strong attorney to represent you is a tall order. You need to be assured of both their knowledge and their ability to present your case in the best possible light.
Mr. Crump knows how to present, explain, and support evidence that may lead to your success in the courtroom. He also understands the field of medicine and has built relationships with medical experts who are critical when it comes to evaluating your case.
In some states, the window for a medical malpractice lawyer to file your claim is limited. How long you’ll have to sue a doctor after surgery will depend on your state’s laws. It’s critical to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after you suspect a medical mistake. Contact Mr. Crump today; he is ready to help you.