Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to properly treat a medical condition in a negligent act or omission that is the cause of an injury to a patient. Negligence in a medical malpractice case can occur in a variety of ways including but not limited to the following:
- There may be medical malpractice by delay or failure in diagnosing of a disease.
- A surgical or anesthesia related mishap during an operative procedure can cause a medical malpractice.
- Medical malpractice may involve the physicians failure to gain the informed consent of the patient for an operation or surgical procedure.
- A physician who has made the correct diagnosis may thereafter commit malpractice by failing to properly treat the disease process.
- Medical malpractice may occur by the misuse of prescription drugs or a medical device or implant can also be a cause for medical malpractice.
It is important that you contact an attorney immediately to get an evaluation and determine if you have an actionable case. This is necessary because medical malpractice are complex and expensive to pursue and have a high risk of no recovery. The first step in the process of a medical malpractice claim is for the client to enter into an agreement with the attorney regarding representation and the method of compensation. Usually, in the medical malpractice cases the attorney agrees to advance all costs and will be repaid the costs in the event of a recovery. Most attorneys work on a contingency basis where the attorney would receive a percentage of the gross recovery. Thus, the client does not endure any economic loss if there is no recovery.
During the initial interview, the attorney will obtain a detailed medical history during which the attorney will obtain the names of all physicians and hospitals which have rendered medical treatment to the client. It is valuable for the client to prepare a written summary including a time-line of all medical treatment including dates, doctors, symptoms, conversations with medical providers and the treatment received. In many malpractice cases, proof of any negligence is often contained in the medical records.
In order to determine whether or not a client has a medical malpractice case, it is necessary that the plaintiff’s attorney obtain a medical expert to review the file and make a determination whether there is an actual case.
In determining what medical expert to use some of the considerations regarding the expert should be whether he is board certified in the relevant field of medicine. After a thorough review of the pertinent medical records, the medical expert has to render an opinion within a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to whether or not the defendant’s physician cause the damages to the plaintiff. Filing a lawsuit is the first step in the legal process which could cover a number of years and cost thousands of dollars. During the initial discovery period both parties exchange all documents and information that they possess. Also, the parties are required to set forth their positions and respond to the discovery and request for production of any documents. After the discovery period the parties usually enter into settlement negotiations regarding the case. If the parties are not able to resolve their differences the case is in the final stage which will go to trial before a judge or a jury. If you have any questions regarding a potential medical practice claim, please contact our law firm in Jonesboro immediately at (770) 477-7878.