Do You Have a Case?
The most important thing to know about potential medical malpractice cases is what they are not.
They are not, with nothing more, tragic outcomes. They are not doctors’ decisions which turn out to be incorrect. They are not doctors’ falsehoods. They are not doctors’ major errors, if not contributory to the harm.
On the other hand medical malpractice is no different than any other “negligence.” There is a cause of action if the doctor, or provider working under the doctor’s supervision, makes a serious mistake and that mistake causes harm to the victim. “Mistake” as used in the preceding sentence is a bit complex. For a doctor to be negligent, there must be a violation of what is called the “standard of care.” In most cases only qualified medical doctors, e.g. “experts,” are competent to offer evidence proving a violation of the standard of care, and further proving the violation caused the harm alleged. Violations can be poor decisions, poor execution, failure to act, or acting improperly. Sometimes violations occur not as the result of what the doctor or nurse did, but what the health care facility did or did not do. Failure to train employees properly or failure to keep medical records properly might be violations of the standard of care. Failure to obtain the patient’s “informed consent” of a procedure or treatment may also be a violation of the standard of care.
What To Do If You Have a Potential Medical Malpractice Case.
If you were/are the patient, get a copy of the relevant medical records. After making contact with my office (by Email or telephone), and we agree that a further review is warranted, forward the record(s) to my office. Feedback will then be provided.
In the case of a decedent, those medical records might still be attainable by a lawful heir. Call this office to discuss in advance if you have questions in this regard. In the case of a minor, a custodial parent or lawful guardian has the right to request medical records of the child.
Possible Retainer Charge
It is not unusual that I will take a case only after retaining a medical consultant to evaluate the merits of the claim. In those situations the potential client will be charged a non-refundable fee in advance for that evaluation. If applicable in your case, this situation will be fully discussed with you before we proceed in that direction.
May the Client Decide “Who” Gets Sued?
Many potential clients want to “sue,” but not their own doctors. That is perfectly understandable, and an admirable personal trait. From the lawyer’s perspective in a medical malpractice arena, however, that can be ill advised and overly restrictive. Placing such restrictions in advance on the lawyer’s ability to civilly prosecute a medical malpractice case will usually result in case rejection. Neither doctors nor anyone else should be sued without belief that legal relief is warranted—but to stipulate in advance that certain parties cannot be sued for a legal harm is not a stipulation this lawyer is comfortable with.
Contact us about your legal matter today!