When you seek treatment from a medical professional, you expect competent care that addresses your underlying concerns. However, even experienced doctors can make serious errors.
If a medical professional makes a mistake when treating you or a loved one, you may be able to make a legal claim and recover damages. Before taking the first step, however, it's important to understand the basics of these cases. Learn how a doctor negligence lawsuit typically works and find out how an experienced lawyer can help.
Demonstrating Negligence Is a Four-Part Process
Proving that a medical professional has been negligent can be challenging and typically requires extensive legal experience. Medical negligence attorneys use a four-step process to make their cases:
- The doctor must have a duty of care to you. Essentially, you need an established doctor-patient relationship with the healthcare professional in question. For example, a bill from the doctor or healthcare organization can confirm a duty of care.
- The doctor must have breached the duty of care. Next, your legal team has to show that the medical professional negligently failed to provide care that met industry standards. For example, a negligent doctor could have failed to tell you how to care for a wound after surgery.
- You must have sustained injuries from your doctor's actions. You can hold doctors liable for medical negligence if their breach caused you to sustain injuries or illnesses that you wouldn't otherwise have had.
- Your injuries must have caused damages or losses. Finally, you have to show that the resulting injuries caused either financial losses like medical bills or non-economic damages like a lower quality of life.
You Have a Limited Window of Time to File a Claim
If you believe you've experienced medical negligence, it's important to learn more about your options for legal recourse as soon as possible. In most cases, you have a limited period of time when you can file a doctor negligence lawsuit or make a claim against your healthcare team. If you miss the deadline, you might not be able to get the justice you deserve.
Every state follows a different statute of limitations, or maximum length of time to take legal action. The absolute limit, or deadline to act, depends on the type of case and where the incident occurred. A knowledgeable medical negligence lawyer can advise you about any deadlines that apply to your case.
Your Medical Negligence Case Could Go to Court
In many cases, medical negligence attorneys aim to settle cases out of court. If your attorneys have been successful in generating strong evidence in the case, the healthcare providers may agree to your legal team's terms to avoid a trial. In certain circumstances, though, powerful organizations may opt to take a case to court rather than choosing to settle.
You Need an Experienced Medical Negligence Attorney
Whether or not your case goes to court, you will likely need an experienced medical negligence attorney to represent you. These cases require high-level legal and medical knowledge, as they can be very complex. Because medical professionals and healthcare organizations often have high-powered legal teams, you need an attorney who can present a convincing, well-researched case on your behalf. Since most medical negligence cases require expert witnesses, you also need a legal team that has access to this professional network.
Don't trust your medical negligence case to just anyone. At Janet, Janet & Suggs, we have a 40-year track record of pursuing high-level cases against powerful organizations. Our in-house medical team has extensive experience achieving medical negligence and malpractice verdicts and settlements, and we're committed to helping you get the justice you deserve.If you believe that you or a loved one has experienced medical negligence, we can help. Take the first step by contacting our legal team today. Sign up for a no-cost legal consultation and learn how our team of experienced medical negligence attorneys can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.