How Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Work?

When a doctor fails to meet the standard of care in treating a patient, and that failure results in injury or death to the patient, the injured patient can sue the physician for malpractice. In many cases, a Medical malpractice lawyer can help patients recover damages for their losses, including past and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional distress and loss of companionship.

Several factors are required to establish negligence, including the existence of a duty to the patient, a breach of that duty, and an injury caused by the breach. Many malpractice lawsuits are unsuccessful, and it is critical for physicians to understand how these claims work in order to defend against them.

A physician’s most vivid encounter with the legal system in a medical malpractice suit is his or her deposition under oath. This testimony is part of the discovery process and is governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and state counterparts. In the case of a deposition, the physician is interviewed by the attorney representing the plaintiff.

Physicians who are accused of malpractice are often unaware that they will face this scrutiny in court, and it can take a toll on their career and personal life. Many doctors who are harmed by malpractice settle their claims out of fear of being sued and because they can’t afford to fight the claim through trial, where attorney fees and expenses can quickly devour a verdict or settlement award.

Some attorneys decline to take a malpractice case because they believe the harm didn’t happen or that the potential compensation would be too low. This is a big problem for patients who have been seriously injured by their healthcare providers. It’s also a reason why unrepresented victims accept undervalued settlement offers early in the litigation.

The first step to filing a malpractice claim is to hire a competent medical malpractice attorney, preferably one with a track record of success and a reputation for being thorough and prepared. When preparing for the initial consultation, be sure to bring all of your medical records and other relevant documentation to the meeting. This includes hospital or clinic bills, test results, prescriptions, and correspondence or communication with other healthcare providers related to the incident.

A good medical malpractice lawyer will review the information and documents to assess the potential strength of the case and identify any challenges. He or she will discuss your experience and how you were harmed by the negligent medical care you received. He or she will also assess your losses and consider liable parties that should be named as defendants in the lawsuit.

In some states, there are caps on what a person can recover for non-economic damages. These are damages that can be difficult to quantify, and include such items as pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish and loss of companionship. In such cases, it is important to retain a medical malpractice attorney who can make persuasive arguments on behalf of their clients.