According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer (Forbes, May 2013). In the unfortunate instance that a physician makes a mistake, be it in diagnosis or treatment, the well-being of the patient is of chief concern. It then follows that one considers the impact of the erroneous decision(s) on her condition. The added anxiety of legal intervention can add additional stress, so it’s a good idea to explore what might happen in a malpractice case.
First, it’s important to understand that the legal process, particularly in medical malpractice cases, can take years to reach its conclusion. Not only do the court proceedings themselves take time, but it takes time to gain a comprehensive understanding of sometimes very complex medical issues and their long-term consequences.
For these reasons, it is imperative to engage the services of a competent, compassionate attorney. It is advisable to have an accounting, on paper, of all facts, including pertinent dates and times. It is a good idea to bring your medical records along as well, if you haven’t already sent those to the attorney’s office. An attorney can also advise you about any applicable statutes of limitations.
Once your attorney has enough information, he or she will likely have the facts reviewed by independent experts, in an effort to determine whether or not the physician error(s) constituted malpractice. In general, the following must be in place in order to proceed:
- a provider-patient relationship exists in the first place
- the health-care provider deviated from the “recognized standard of care”
- this negligence caused injury or damages to the patient
At Protzman Law Firm, we have the experience to handle your case, and our firm is built on trust, fairness and doing the right thing. You will receive the most aggressive, technologically sound representation. We are here to represent you, and we will work hard to obtain the maximum possible settlement. Please don’t hesitate to call us today.
*The City image by Herry Lawford, Flickr Creative Commons license