Do you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice? If so, filing a malpractice claim may allow you to collect compensation for your injuries. However, before you run to the courthouse to file a claim, there are a few facts that you should know regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. Taking the time to review these facts below will give you a better idea of whether or not your experience qualifies as medical malpractice, and will help you determine what the next step in pursuing your case should be.
A Doctor Must Agree
Unfortunately, patients experience negative effects on a regular basis after receiving medical treatment. However, a negative experience does not necessarily mean that your doctor has committed malpractice. In order to constitute malpractice, you must prove that your doctor deviated from what is known as the reasonable standard of care. All this means is that their actions or lack of action deviated from what a reasonable physician would do in their situation.
Since the average person does not have the medical knowledge to determine what the reasonable standard of care would be in your case, it is not possible for these individuals to make a determination regarding the presence of malpractice. Instead, this determination must be made by another medical professional that specializes in the same area of medicine as your original physician. This is done through an independent medical exam. If the results of this exam do not indicate malpractice, your personal injury claim will be over before it even begins.
Real Damages Must Exist
While the media often portrays medical malpractice settlements as being worth big money, the truth is, most of these claims will settle for far less than you may imagine. This is because in order to collect a settlement in your case, you must be able to demonstrate the presence of real damages.
The real damages in your case will be any financial losses that you suffered as a result of the malpractice. For instance, if you required surgery in order to undo the damage caused by your original physician, the cost of your medical care and lost wages would be the real damages in your case.
If you did not suffer a financial loss as the result of your physician's malpractice, you will not be able to collect a settlement in your case, even if you are able to prove that the physician did in fact act in a negligent manner.
You Will Need An Attorney
While the law does provide you with the right to represent yourself, a medical malpractice claim is not the time to exercise this right. This is because malpractice claims can be complex, time consuming, and expensive to pursue. With the need for expert testimony and extensive research, successfully pursuing a malpractice claim is not something the average person can do on their own. Therefore, the first step in pursuing any malpractice claim should be to consult a qualified attorney.
If you are worried about your ability to pay for the services of a reputable medical malpractice lawyer, you should know that most of these attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you will not need to pay anything upfront in order to secure their services. Instead, all of your legal fees will be paid out of any settlement that you do receive.