Medical malpractice law oversees the liability of doctors and other medical treatment providers when they cause harm to a patient by carrying out their services in a negligent manner.
Every state has laws that handle medical malpractice cases, but in general, a doctor will be held liable if their conduct fails to meet the standard of care provided by other skilled health care professionals under similar circumstances in the same local area.
Medical malpractice law permits victims of poor medical care to collect financial compensation for their increased medical costs and for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of receiving inadequate medical care.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor is negligent, reckless, or intentionally gives care that creates a poor medical result for their patient. Healthcare professionals are believed to be competent, and they’re presumed to give care in a reasonable and professional manner. When they don’t perform to professional standards and you suffer as a result, you’re the victim of medical malpractice.
For it to be considered medical malpractice though, some level of harm must occur. If no one gets hurt, there are zero grounds for legal action.
What are the standards for medical malpractice?
Many medical malpractice cases come from state negligence laws, which differ greatly from state to state. The standard of negligence requires every medical professional to give reasonable care and caution per their professional training and at the same standard as other healthcare professionals in the same local area.
For you to prove that you have been a victim of negligence, you must show that a healthcare professional violated their duty in a way that brought about harm to you. Medical malpractice isn’t limited to doctors — any healthcare professional including nurses, specialists, and consultants can commit medical malpractice.
Compensation for pain and suffering
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, the first step is to retain an attorney from a reputable law firm that specializes in medical malpractice. Self-representation is not achievable in medical malpractice cases, unlike other areas of the law.
The Davis Kelin Law firm, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, specializes in medical malpractice law and employs New Mexico medical malpractice attorney specialists who work with plaintiffs on medical malpractice suits. Once you’ve found a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice suits in your area, your attorney will begin by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the factual events surrounding the incident.
Medical records and other evidence is collected, and depositions are taken of the defendant as well as witnesses. A medical expert will also review the evidence and write up a report for the plaintiff. Once a report has been drafted, it is then turned over to the defendant’s attorney and insurance adjuster.
From there, settlement negotiations begin. If the plaintiff and defendant can come to an agreement, the plaintiff will receive some type of compensation, and the case is then closed. If however, both sides can not agree on a settlement, the case proceeds to trial where a judge or jury decides the outcome.
Patients put their trust in doctors and other medical professionals to give them reasonable care. Unfortunately, when preventable accidents occur as a result of poor medical treatment, patients often must deal with insurance companies who try to deny them proper compensation.
If medical malpractice occurs, the best way a patient can protect themselves is to contact a qualified law firm with attorneys who are experienced in medical malpractice suits. If an attorney representing a plaintiff does not comply with all procedural requirements, a case can be dismissed, so working with a competent attorney is key.
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