Medical Malpractice FAQs
Here are some medical malpractice FAQs that our team of medical malpractice law attorneys often receive from clients:
Do you have questions? We have answers. Here are some legal FAQs that our team of attorneys often receives from clients.
How do I get paid for my damages?
You have two options when attempting to recover money for your injuries:
- Filing a lawsuit (suing the responsible party in court)
- Reaching an agreeable financial arrangement out of court (settling the case)
In many cases, people agree to settle the case without going to trial. A settlement can be reached even when a court date has already been set.
How long does it take to pursue a medical malpractice case?
Each case is unique. Your initial consultation with your attorney can help you estimate the length of your case. Specific steps must be undertaken prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is frequently necessary in medical malpractice cases to file a lawsuit and pursue litigation. You need a medical malpractice attorney experienced in medical negligence cases to do this for you. Most judges require cases to go through an informal settlement negotiation called mediation before a case can proceed to trial. Cases may settle at mediation without the need for a trial.
How long will it take to pursue my case?
The answer to this question depends upon the nature of the case. Every medical malpractice case is unique and presents its own challenges. The nature of the case dictates the length of time necessary to bring your action to its conclusion. During your initial consult, your attorney should be able to give you a better idea of how long your particular case might take. Understand, however, that this is an estimate, as facts and circumstances often change during the course of a case. Unlike other personal injury cases, however, there are specific steps that must be undertaken prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. An expert witness must review your case and sign an affidavit stating why he believes medical malpractice occurred.
Then a notice of intent must be filed by your attorneys. Once the notice of intent is filed, the defense has ninety (90) days to investigate the allegations of medical malpractice. After ninety (90) days, the defendant can either acknowledge liability and attempt to settle the case, request arbitration, or deny that medical malpractice occurred, and force the plaintiff to file suit. Many medical malpractice claims are settled even after suit is filed, but before the case goes to a jury trial.
I believe the doctor was negligent and caused my injury, will you take my case?
Because medical malpractice claims are highly complex, they require the use of various types of experts. Therefore, a decision to take your case depends on the facts and circumstance of the case. We will investigate your case and have it reviewed by our medical experts.
If we agree that you will take my medical malpractice case, how are you paid?
In all medical malpractice claims, we work on a contingency fee agreement, clearly explained in an employment contract, signed by both parties. If we are unable to recover any money damages, you pay nothing. If, however, we are successful in obtaining a settlement or jury award, we receive a percentage of the recovery.
I’m not happy with the results of my surgery or medical procedure, can I sue?
Medical malpractice is not merely being unhappy with the results of a surgery or medical procedure. In order to successfully pursue a claim of medical malpractice, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor’s care fell below a certain accepted standard, that the doctor was negligent and/or that the physician did not properly inform you of the risks of the particular procedure (informed consent). Medical malpractice claims are often highly complex and expensive cases to pursue.
What are damages?
The word damages refers to the dollar amount of injury you have suffered. The American legal system uses money as a measurement to determine the appropriate amount of damages that can be sued for in court, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Loss of wages (past and future)
What is liability?
Liability is a term used when someone, including yourself, is ‘at fault’ for damages resulting from an accident. If you contributed to your own injury, you may be “comparatively negligent.” This can have an effect on the amount of damages you are entitled to in a lawsuit.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when an individual claims:
- Their doctor’s care has fallen below specific standards
- Their doctor has demonstrated negligence
- Their doctor failed to properly inform them of risks associated with a specific procedure
Most malpractice cases are highly complex and require the skill of experienced medical malpractice attorneys.
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What constitutes a personal injury?
The most common personal injury is an auto accident, but the broad definition encompasses any situation where a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Early identification of a personal injury is important to the legal process. Many serious injuries occur each year involving:
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability accidents such as injuries caused by a slip and fall
– Medical malpractice/nursing home injuries
– Wrongful death
– Work-related accidents
– Animal attacks
– Faulty or malfunctioning products (product liability)