5 Things You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice Law
A study by Johns Hopkins found that medical errors cause up to 250,000 deaths per year in the US, making medical malpractice the third-leading cause of death nationwide.
In other words, malpractice is prevalent, and it affects a huge number of patients across the country. While everyone hopes they’ll never have to deal with this type of lawsuit, it’s a good idea to know some fundamental things about medical malpractice law, just in case.
1. Medical Malpractice Law Differs By State
Every state has its own specific laws, procedures, and standards pertaining to medical malpractice. As a result, it’s important to make sure you have a medical malpractice attorney who’s experienced with your state’s legal structure.
In general, however, medical malpractice law is designed to help patients hurt by substandard medical care.
2. Negligence Can Be a Component of Medical Malpractice Law
Many people don’t realize that medical negligence isn’t a separate legal area; instead, it’s under the umbrella of medical malpractice law. Medical negligence happens when a patient receives an injury due to a doctor’s neglect or ignorance rather than a medical accident.
3. What Must Be Proven in a Successful Medical Malpractice Case
The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, in this case the injured patient. If your medical malpractice case is going to be successful, there are three things you’ll need to prove, and a specialist can help you do so.
First, your medical malpractice lawyer will show that a healthcare professional provided substandard medical care while showing what another professional would have done instead. This usually means getting a third-party expert witness to testify.
Next, they’ll explain the injury—emotional or physical.
Finally, you’ll need to provide evidence that the medical professional in question actually caused the injury.
4. Medical Malpractice Cases Can Take Months or Years to Resolve
There’s no way to determine how long your case will take. Some cases will take just a few months to be resolved, while others can take two years or more.
As a result, you will likely need to continue paying your medical fees out of pocket for some time until a successful outcome in your case allows you to reimburse yourself. However, you usually don’t have to pay any legal fees up front, as the legal firm you work with will only take a payment if you win.
5. There Is a Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Cases
After your injury, you’ll need to bring your case quickly—between a few months and two years, depending on your state. If you don’t file within this time, you will be unable to submit a claim even with a strong case. This is why it’s critical to speak to an attorney as soon as the malpractice is discovered.
Get the Help You Need
When it comes to medical malpractice law, it pays—sometimes literally—not do it alone. In the wake of your injury, an expert can help you navigate the confusing world of malpractice law to find a successful outcome. If you’re ever in this unfortunate situation, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible!
Looking for more of the legal tips you should know? Our other posts are full of the helpful guides you need, so check them out to learn more.