If you or a loved one has been harmed by a negligent or incompetent medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, you need a skilled and experienced medical malpractice lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights.
A capable medical malpractice lawyer will help you navigate the complicated legal process, protect your rights, and maximize your recovery. One such firm is Shrager Law (https://www.shragerlaw.com/), which has a team of dedicated and knowledgeable lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice cases.
But how do you find such a lawyer? Here are some tips to help you choose the right medical malpractice attorney for your situation.
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What is Medical Malpractice, and How to Prove It
Before you start looking for a lawyer, you need to understand what medical malpractice is and how to prove it. Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide reasonable care to a patient, resulting in harm or death. Medical malpractice can take many forms, such as:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Medication errors
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Hospital infections
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure to monitor or follow up
To prove medical malpractice, you need to establish four elements:
- Duty – You must demonstrate that the medical provider had a duty to provide you with competent care according to the accepted standards of their profession.
- Breach – You must show that the medical provider breached their duty by deviating from the standard of care or failing to act as a reasonable provider would in similar circumstances.
- Causation – You must establish that the medical provider’s breach caused or contributed to your injury or worsened your condition. This may require expert testimony from another medical professional who can explain how the breach led to your harm.
- Damages – You must prove that you suffered measurable losses as a result of the medical provider’s breach. These may include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Proving medical malpractice is challenging. You’ll face resistance from providers, insurers, and lawyers who may deny liability, shift blame, or downplay damages. That’s why you need a strong legal advocate on your side who can fight for your rights and interests.
What are the Common Causes of Medical Malpractice
While medical practitioners strive to provide the best possible care, there are instances when mistakes occur, leading to adverse outcomes. Medical malpractice can be caused by various aspects, such as:
One of the leading causes of medical malpractice is human error. Healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and technicians, are human beings who are susceptible to making mistakes. Several factors can contribute to human error, including:
- Fatigue – Long hours and lack of rest can impair medical professionals’ judgment, concentration, and decision-making abilities. Fatigue arises from extended shifts, sleep deprivation, or heavy workloads.
- Stress and Distraction – High-stress healthcare environments, like emergency rooms, can lead to distraction and overwhelm. Personal stressors and outside distractions further impact providers’ performance.
- Lack of Training or Experience – Insufficient training or experience in specific procedures raises error risks. Continuous skill and knowledge updates are crucial for optimal care provision.
- Poor Judgment – Complex medical situations demand sound judgment. Lack of critical thinking skills, misinterpretation of data, or failure to consider all factors can lead to poor decisions.
Apart from human error, medical malpractice can also arise from system errors within healthcare facilities. These errors occur due to flaws or failures in the healthcare system, such as:
- Communication Breakdown – Ineffective communication between healthcare providers can cause misunderstandings, misinterpretation, or failure to share crucial data. This issue can occur across doctors, nurses, technicians, and the healthcare team.
- Coordination Problems – In cases involving multiple professionals, coordination is vital. Poor coordination can lead to errors like medication mix-ups, delayed diagnoses, or improper treatment.
- Equipment Failures – Malfunctioning or poorly maintained medical equipment poses serious patient risks. Failures result from technical issues, maintenance gaps, or improper usage.
- Inadequate Policies and Procedures – Outdated or insufficient organizational policies and procedures contribute to errors. Effective protocols and guidelines are essential for consistent, safe, and high-quality care.
While rare, medical malpractice can also occur due to healthcare providers acting in bad faith. These cases involve intentional misconduct or unethical behavior, including:
- Intentional Harm – Healthcare providers might deliberately harm patients, motivated by personal reasons like financial gain, grudges, or power misuse.
- Covering Up Errors – Instead of admitting mistakes, some providers conceal them. This includes changing records, falsifying information, or deceiving patients and families.
- Fraud and Abuse – Medical malpractice can encompass fraud, like billing for unnecessary services, overcharging, or unethical actions for personal profit.
How to Find a Reputable Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Finding a trustworthy medical malpractice lawyer in your area requires more than a simple online or phone book search. You need to research and evaluate before hiring an attorney for your case. Here are some steps to help you find the best lawyer for your needs:
Ask for referrals
One of the best ways to find a good lawyer is to ask for referrals from people you trust, such as family members, friends, co-workers, or other professionals who have dealt with medical malpractice cases. They can give you honest feedback and recommendations based on their personal experience.
Once you have a list of potential lawyers, check their credentials and qualifications. You can look up their websites, online reviews, ratings, testimonials, awards, and memberships. You can also check their disciplinary records and complaints with the state bar association or other regulatory agencies.
After narrowing down your list, you should schedule consultations with the lawyers you are interested in. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations where you can discuss your case, ask questions, and understand their personality and style. You should prepare a list of questions to ask the lawyers.
Consultations help assess a lawyer’s qualifications, experience, confidence, compassion, honesty, and trustworthiness. Consider how they listen, explain, and make you feel at ease. Choose a lawyer who understands your situation, provides clear answers, and instills confidence.
Medical malpractice is a serious matter that can have devastating consequences for your health, well-being, and finances. If you or a loved one has experienced this, you need to find the best medical malpractice lawyer for your case. A skilled and experienced lawyer can help you prove your claim, protect your rights, and maximize your recovery.
Last Updated on November 6, 2023