What is medical malpractice?
|Experienced legal counsel is imperative for a medical malpractice case. Lawyers who are seasoned in handling these types of cases will be able to determine which are worth pursuing.|
Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, occurs when a physician, health care provider or hospital, by act or omission, deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a disease or medical condition
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition
- Unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition
Specific situations may include:
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Defective drugs
- Anesthesia errors
- Patient neglect
- And more
How is medical malpractice proven?
Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complicated and expensive. In order to be successful, the injured person must be able to prove that negligence occurred. Negligence in this context means the failure of a medical professional to use reasonable skill or care in the medical provider’s professional capacity.
In order to prove negligence, it's usually necessary to hire a medical expert who will give an opinion about the current standard of care as it is applied to the circumstances of each case. The medical expert will also give an opinion as to whether the provider(s) failed to follow the standard of care in the particular case and whether or not the medical provider caused the person’s injuries and/or death. In many instances, proving causation is not straightforward.
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For example, if a person has had surgery, there may be known complications from the surgery involved. The defense may claim that the person’s injuries were caused by a known complication from the surgery, rather than from the medical provider’s negligence. Oftentimes there may be multiple potential defendants. There may also be multiple instances of negligence. The various defendants may point a finger at each other, complicating one’s ability to prove negligence and/or causation.
What's involved in a malpractice lawsuit?
In Maine, the Maine Health Securities Act requires litigants to go through a pre-litigation screening panel process, unless the parties agree to waive it. This means that in order to file a lawsuit, a party must first comply with the pre-litigation screening panel process. There are notice requirements which, if not followed, can result in a person losing their right to bring a claim. In addition, there are statutes of limitations involved in medical negligence cases which, if not met, will also most likely result in a party losing his or her ability to bring suit.
Experienced legal counsel is imperative for a medical malpractice case. Lawyers who are seasoned in handling such cases will be able to determine which cases are worth pursuing. Significant resources are needed to adequately prepare such a case, as there are costs involved for hiring experts, obtaining medical records and conducting discovery, including taking depositions of the parties. In most cases involving medical negligence, the medical records are voluminous. In such cases, it is important to have an experienced legal team with strong organizational skills and the ability to utilize technology.
If you or someone close to you has suffered from an injury caused by medical malpractice, you should promptly contact experienced legal counsel. We are experienced in handling all types of medical negligence cases—if you feel you have a case, call us at 1-800-660-3713 or fill out our free inquiry form.