What Will A Malpractice Attorney Do If There Was A Medical Mistake?
In any negligence case the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove that medical malpractice has occurred. The plaintiff must also prove that as a direct result of the medical negligence he or she has suffered damages. This is referred to as “proximate cause.” A malpractice attorney knows that malpractice litigation is expensive to pursue so the injuries must be significant to warrant moving forward with a case. All medical accidents are “malpractice”, though only a small percentage of mistakes give rise to medical malpractice cases.
Other Important Considerations For A Malpractice Lawyer Or Birth Injury Attorney To Consider
Other issues that can be important when determining if a client has a malpractice case include the victim’s behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A common tactic of a medical malpractice attorney for the defense is to blame the patient. If it is a birth trauma case, a birth injury attorney will determine whether the mom had proper prenatal care, whether she smoked or used drugs during her pregnancy. In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor’s orders, keep his appointments, take his medicine as instructed and tell the doctor the truth? These are facts that your malpractice attorney needs to know in order to determine if you can proceed with your case.
What Happens Once Your Malpractice Lawyer Determines That You Have A Case?
If it looks probable that you have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake caused a significant injury or death (preferably not the latter) and you were compliant with your doctor’s orders, then you need to get your medical records and provide them to your malpractice lawyer. In most cases, obtaining the medical records involves mailing a signed release to the doctor or the hospital along with a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victim’s estate needs to be appointed in the local county probate court and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.
Once the records are received your malpractice lawyer will review them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to receive incomplete medical charts. Once all the relevant records are obtained they are provided to a qualified medical expert for review and opinion. If the case is against an emergency room doctor an emergency room doctor will review the case, if it’s against a cardiologist an opinion from a cardiologist will be relevant.
A malpractice attorney wants to know form these experts is 1) whether the medical care provided was below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the patients injury or death? If the doctor’s opinion is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on your behalf and filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed.