What Types of Harm Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help With?
Medical negligence and mistakes can cause many types of harm, from minor injury up to and including, sadly, death. Examples may include:
- Wrongful amputation or amputation of the wrong limb
- Birth injuries resulting in harm to the infant
- Drugs administered at the wrong dosage causing harm, or the wrong drugs being used
- Unnecessary treatment performed to increase billing
- Failure to diagnose cancer or another disease, or diagnosis errors
- Medical utensils being left inside a patient following surgery
- Errors in anesthesia resulting in death or a patient waking during surgery
- Treatment carried out without the patient’s informed consent
- Defective medical devices
There are many other kinds of medical malpractice - your medical malpractice attorney will help you determine whether you can make a claim.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Medical Negligence Attorney?
Most medical malpractice law firms operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront to your medical malpractice attorney - but they will take a percentage of your eventual settlement as their fee. Typically, this percentage will be around 33%. If you don’t win your case, you will pay nothing.
Medical malpractice cases are typically very complex, however. There may be other costs involved - for example, court filing fees or expert witness fees - so ask your malpractice attorney for full details before you hire them.
Tips for Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’re looking for a medical malpractice lawyer or medical negligence attorney, you are almost certainly in a stressful situation to begin with.
Trying to find the best malpractice attorney to handle your case is yet one more stress you could do without - but there are ways of choosing a malpractice law firm that can save you time and stress.
Ideally, you need to find a medical malpractice attorney with a great deal of experience in your particular type of injury or case; some malpractice law firms specialize, for example in birth injury, so it’s worth looking around to see who specializes in your area.
Most people won’t already have a medical negligence lawyer in mind when they start this process - for you, one of the best options is to use a specialist attorney directly, like our State Bar Attorneys Directory. We screen and verify all of our listings to give you peace of mind, so you can be sure that when you choose a medical malpractice attorney from our listings, you will be in good hands.
Here you can also narrow your search to malpractice attorneys in your state, and you can read reviews right here in the directory, making it easy to see who are the most trusted malpractice attorneys near you.
FAQ on Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney
1 - Is there a time limit on making a medical negligence claim?
Yes. However, this varies from state to state, and in many states, there are up to four different kinds of medical negligence deadlines to consider. Typically, you will have between two to six years following the incident within which to file a lawsuit.
However, the Discovery Rule allows for exceptions to this, where the patient did not discover the harm until after the standard statute of limitations had expired - for example where a surgical error did not start to cause pain until years after the operation.
There are also separate rules in most states where the patient is or was at the time of the malpractice a minor child.
To ensure that you don’t fall foul of the complex deadline rules, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as you think you may have experienced medical negligence, even if the incident occurred many years ago.
2 - What kind of damages can I recover by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Tactualact damages and compensation you might receive from a medical malpractice case will of course depend on the nature and severity of what you experienced. As a general rule, however, you may be able to claim compensatory damages for medical bills and equipment, home care, lost earnings, emotional duress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
You may also be able to claim punitive damages, although these are rare in medical negligence cases and will usually only be awarded where it can be shown that the medical professional acted intentionally to cause harm or was particularly reckless in their behavior.
A good medical malpractice attorney will ensure that you can recover the maximum medical negligence compensation available to you.
3 - Is nursing home abuse a medical malpractice issue?
Not usually - although elder abuse attorneys and nursing home lawyers specialize in handling those types of cases as a separate area of law.
In medical malpractice law, a case usually requires the existence of a doctor-patient type relationship, rather than just a residence in a nursing home. If your loved one was receiving medical treatment in the nursing home, and it is the medical treatment that has caused harm, then that may be a medical negligence case. However, if it was the care and treatment carried out by the care staff that caused the harm, this is unlikely to count as medical malpractice.
So if you or your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or negligence, you should speak to a specialist nursing home abuse attorney rather than a medical malpractice lawyer.