Although it's not pleasant to think about, medical professionals are only human, so mistakes are bound to happen. Your nurse may be working a double shift, be very tired, and make a mistake that causes you injury, or your doctor may miscalculate a medication dosage. Mistakes happen occasionally in a busy hospital, but the bad part is medical mistakes can cause serious harm. If you suspect a nurse, doctor, or other healthcare worker acted in a way that made your condition worse, you should talk to a medical malpractice lawyer and see if you have a legal case.
Determine If You Have A Cause To Sue
Unless you are a medical professional yourself, you probably aren't sure if your healthcare team did something wrong or were negligent. Medical malpractice lawyers work with doctors and nurses that review your medical records and determine if there is cause to proceed with a lawsuit. Sometimes this is very easy to determine, such as if you go to surgery for an amputation of your left leg and the doctor removes the right leg by mistake.
Other cases require analysis to determine if your healthcare provider followed the usual standard of care. If you had a bad outcome and the provider followed the typical standard of care for your condition, you probably won't have grounds for a suit. If your provider withheld standard treatments or offered treatments not generally offered by other professionals for the same medical condition, then your attorney may have something to use to win your case.
Decide If You Want To Pursue A Lawsuit
Even if your attorney thinks you can win the case, you have to decide if you are ready for a long battle if your case goes to court. It's possible your attorney can settle the case out of court. Insurance companies are often willing to do this when the case for malpractice is clear cut. More complicated cases require going to trial and calling in professional witnesses. All this costs time and money.
The good news is you may find an attorney who works on contingency. This means he or she absorbs the expense of going to trial and waits to get paid once you get your award. The maximum amount of your award may be set by your state, and the actual amount will be determined by the jury based on the evidence presented in your trial. If the malpractice incident caused financial hardship in the form of increased medical bills and lost income from your job, then you have a good reason to seek compensation through a lawsuit, even if it takes months to get it settled.
Estimate Your Compensation
Your malpractice attorney will use a complicated process to estimate the amount of money you should receive if you win the case. A financial expert will most likely consult on your case to determine the actual value of your lost wages medical care. In addition to calculating the exact expenses you have already incurred as a result of medical malpractice, your legal team has to accurately estimate the cost of future medical care and future lost wages. In addition, damages may added in for the pain and suffering you have endured. Some of these factors have an exact dollar amount and others have an estimated or intangible value. That's why you won't know for sure how much money you'll receive until you get a settlement offer or jury verdict.
Going through a major medical crisis is very stressful, especially if you are suffering because of someone's mistake. Worrying about all the unknowns associated with a lawsuit just makes your stress even worse. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer and put your mind at rest. Your medical malpractice lawyer may offer an initial consultation free of charge, so you have nothing to lose by finding out if you have a good case to pursue.