Medical malpractice is a rather misunderstood area of personal injury law. Many people take extreme positions on medical malpractice cases, believing that everything is the fault of medical professionals or that they can do nothing wrong. The truth lies in between. Sometimes, things go wrong and there is nothing that medical staff can do, but sometimes their actions are directly responsible for the injury or death of a patient.
At Fitzgerald Law Firm, we have many years of experience in handling medical malpractice. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Here are five things you need to know about medical malpractice cases:
1) Medical malpractice cases are often complicated. Some cases take years to resolve, although most are settled out of court. It is virtually impossible for a victim or a family member to understand all of the legal issues surrounding medical malpractice. An attorney who has handled many malpractice cases is the best resource you can have in unraveling the complicated structure of these lawsuits.
2) Not every death or injury is the result of malpractice. Sometimes people are injured or die through no fault of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. However, if a staff person has been negligent, either deliberately or accidentally, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is very important to discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney before taking any steps that could affect the outcome of your claim.
3) Defective drug cases are not malpractice claims. Defective drugs fall under product liability claims, not medical malpractice. However, a doctor may commit malpractice if he or she prescribes the wrong medication, so it is possible to have both a product liability and a malpractice claim arise from the same incident.
4) Medical malpractice is more common than you think. According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 44,000 and perhaps as many as 98,000 people die each year in American hospitals due to preventable medical error. This does not include people who are injured in any degree; if those patients are added, the numbers could climb into the millions.
5) Most victims of medical malpractice never receive compensation. Experts estimate that only one in eight medical errors ever result in a malpractice claim, and very few claims are settled for the full amount of possible compensation. It is possible that some patients simply do not know that medical malpractice has occurred, while others may believe that they will never be able to prove their case or that their case is not worth much money. Still other victims believe that filing a malpractice claim would result in bad consequences for the doctor whom they do not want to “hurt” by filing a complaint.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the Fitzgerald Law Firm immediately. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through an analysis of your case and help you learn if you are eligible for compensation.