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How Can I Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Malpractice occurs when some form of negligence, such as a misdiagnosis, treatment after the surgery, mismanagement of care, treatment errors or the continuing care plan of the patient when they have been released from the hospital.

Guidelines and Rules

The law states there are guidelines and rules that medical professionals must now follow. The professionals covered by such standards may include administrators, doctors, nurses and anyone representing the hospital. Problems may arise when the guidelines are not followed and injury develops as a result. A patient should be secure and safe in the care of a health facility and its representatives. If the proper procedures have not been followed, malpractice may occur.

Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

When a health care facility or its representatives fail to follow proper procedures, this opens them to potential litigation. If a patient is sent home before full recovery, too early or while still suffering from the injury, the health care provider may be liable. Cases may arise when testing was not performed when needed, a wrong surgery was executed, mistakes are made during surgery or when a diagnosis is wrong.

Neglect of Patient Care

When a patient’s care is not kept to the standards in use, a lawyer may be able to show that the patient was injured due to medical malpractice and should be compensated for such injuries. The legal standard used to determine whether an injury was caused by medical malpractice is the “but for” standard, meaning that the patient would not have sustained the injuries in question but for the healthcare professional’s conduct.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Malpractice lawsuits are time-consuming and require many people to assist in order to prevail. Because these cases are so lengthy, costly and require several billable hours by a lawyer, it is best to ensure the case has merit and there is proof to back up the claim. Many times cases arise due to health care professionals leaving lasting damage through a treatment that may not have been standard procedure. This may cause further suffering to family members who must go through the pain of watching their loved ones wither away through time. Patients suffer economically when they require extended treatment or when they become disabled, and this places a further strain upon family and the injured individual. A malpractice lawyer must be seasoned in the damages that medical malpractice victims may be facing and be available to aggressively pursue the case.

Assessing Potential Lawyers

When researching which lawyer may be best, it is important to consider each lawyer’s level of expertise regarding medical malpractice. This is a specialized area of the law that often rests on the testimony of legal experts and diligent legal representation. A legal advocate of this type must adhere to rigid and strict guidelines. They must have the educational background, hold high ethical standards, have extensive experience and be exemplary in liability law.

It is best to obtain a lawyer that handles medical malpractice cases and has knowledge in the medical arena. Asking friends, colleagues or loved ones for recommendations may yield a positive result. Once you have the name of a few qualified lawyers, research each one. Contact the state bar association and check to see whether the lawyer is currently licensed and whether he or she has had any previous disciplinary problems. Check to see if the lawyer belongs to The American Association of Trial Lawyers or if he or she belongs to any professional associations based on medical malpractice law. When the search has been narrowed, schedule an appointment with the remaining lawyers on the list. During your appointment, ask the lawyer for a list of references to contact. Also, ask about the percentage of their practice is comprised of medical malpractice claims and their success rate.

Legal Fees

It is also important to clarify information regarding the expectation of payment. There are lawyers that will cover the costs until a settlement is reached. They are paid through a portion of the settlement at the end of the lawsuit. This is known as accepting a case on a contingency fee basis. You may be required to pay for the services of a legal expert who may be needed to explain jargon and what procedures or medication were used and why.

Finding a medical malpractice lawyer takes time and research. Lawsuit are expensive, time consuming and lengthy, but the time that is spent on discovering the right legal representative is worth it.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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