Every 12 minutes, someone dies due to medical errors. That’s a total of more than 250,000 deaths each year. And yet, many people don’t know what they should do if they have experienced medical malpractice. This article will help you learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from this serious problem.
The first step is to understand how medical malpractice cases work by contacting a medical malpractice lawyer. Next, you will learn about the different stages of a case and how a lawyer can help. Finally, of course, it may turn out that your situation does not involve any legal wrongdoing, in which case no lawsuit will be necessary.
Even if an error resulted in harm for you or a loved one, it might also turn out that nothing could have been done differently by the health care professional or by the hospital where treatment was provided. Therefore, there would be no grounds for liability against anyone. And even if there are grounds for a lawsuit, some errors can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation instead of going to trial.
Which option is best for you will depend on the facts of your case and your personal preferences. This article can serve as a guide, but it’s not a substitute for talking with a lawyer about what happened and what steps should be taken next.
The Basics of Medical Malpractice Cases
A successful medical malpractice claim requires four things:
– Injury or harm
– Causation (a direct link between the injury and negligence)
– Damages in the form of out-of-pocket costs you incurred due to injury or harm
Negligence means that something went wrong during treatment—such as an error in diagnosis or treatment planning or incorrect information provided by a health care professional—that resulted in either physical injury or wrongful death.
Proving Injury or Harm
Injury or harm means that a medical error caused a problem for a patient—such as an infection following surgery, the wrong limb being amputated, or the incorrect medication being given to a child. The injury does not have to be permanent; it just has to have occurred because of the health care professional’s actions or inactions.
Causation links the error and the injury: It must be demonstrated that, but for negligence (and assuming no other intervening factors), there would not have been any harm suffered by you/your loved one.
You don’t have to do this alone. You can always talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your situation and what you should do next.