Medical Malpractice Medical malpractice is an act of negligence or carelessness on the part of a health care professional, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, HMOs, PPO’s, chiropractors, therapists, or other licensed medical care providers, who deviate from conventional medical standards. While some cases can yield undesirable results and are unfortunately unable to be prevented, some do warrant compensation for damages incurred. Under the law, harm caused to a patient due to the misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnosis an illness, injuries suffered during the birth of a child, incorrect treatment of a medical condition, or misuse of prescription medications is unacceptable. Consulting with legal council will provide you with the information you will need to decide your best options in order to potentially receive proper compensation for your pain and suffering. Medical Malpractice Cases The Stark & Stark medical malpractice attorneys will fight to recover all the benefits you deserve. As a result of our experience in representing clients in medical malpractice matters and through careful assessment and preparation, our medical malpractice lawyers help victims and their families obtain cash settlements for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Sometimes these positive outcomes are achieved only by going to trial. However, in many cases our personal injury lawyers are able to obtain favorable settlements outside of the courtroom, making the experience less stressful for our clients. Frequently Asked Questions Here are some questions and answers to help you better understand what’s involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit and important steps to follow to safeguard your safety and rights. Medical Malpractice How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case? A bad medical result doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve experienced malpractice. Even with the best of care, things can go wrong. Generally, to win a medical malpractice case, you must have expert medical testimony that no reasonable health care provider would have done what yours did. Reasonableness is generally determined by looking at what is reasonable care in view of available knowledge, geographic location where care occurred, and the state of medical practices at the time of the illness or injury. You must also prove through expert testimony that the negligence of your health care provider was a cause of injury or death. A doctor can be negligent, for example, and still not be liable, if the injury or death was caused by some other factor. Can You File Malpractice Against Someone Other Than a Doctor? A medical malpractice suit can be lodged against any individual or entity that provides health care. This would include, for example, doctors, nurses, technicians, medical facilities, hospital groups, physical therapists, and optometrists. How Do I Obtain My Medical Records? State law allows a patient the legal right to obtain copies of medical records. A request for copies of the medical records, made in writing, is presented to the medical facility. It will take time to obtain the records, and frequently requests need to be made in a number of areas. For example, the treating physician’s records will contain any prescriptions written for a patient, but not the pharmacist’s records of a patient’s history of consultations (that log book you sign when you pick up your prescription) containing complaints of side effects and other drug interactions. You may need to contact a number of service providers and often there is a per page copy charge assessed to obtain these records. What Is “Informed Consent?” When a doctor is going to perform a procedure, he or she is required to advise the patient of the procedure that is going to be performed as well as all the possible consequences. This is referred to as “informed consent.” If the doctor doesn’t do this, it might lead to a medical malpractice case. There are some instances where a doctor isn’t required to obtain an informed consent, such as a case where the patient is unconscious, a family member can’t be reached in an emergency or if there isn’t a living will. As a general rule, attorneys will represent these cases if the consequences of not being properly informed are great enough. What Is a Normal Settlement Amount? There is no normal or set amount in recovering damages from medical malpractice. Every case and injury is different. There are many nuances that determine a reasonable settlement amount, such as the impact the injury has on earning capacity, the impact the injury has on life functions, how the jury perceives the injured party, and the atmosphere in the geographic area concerning medical malpractice. Only a medical malpractice attorney can give you an idea of what type of settlement you might be entitled to. What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Suit? Statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases are set by state law and generally range from one to seven years. The window of opportunity for filing a lawsuit may expand, depending on circumstances, such as whether or not the injured party was a minor at the time of injury and when the individual learned of the malpractice. A claim filed after the statute of limitations has passed will more than likely not be allowed to continue. Therefore, if you or someone you know has suffered from medical malpractice, or would simply like more information, please contact us.