Victims of medical malpractice deserve a fair settlement when a trusted healthcare provider causes them unnecessary harm. Placing a numeric value on the harm suffered is challenging, but an area where a medical malpractice lawyer can greatly assist. If your case is successful, the actual settlement amount will depend upon the specifics of your case. Read on for more information regarding typical settlements for medical malpractice.
When Medical Care Goes Wrong
No one undergoes a surgical procedure or schedules a doctor visit expecting to experience harm. Trusting those responsible for your care is important as you seek help for your health issues.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals serve to assist patients during their time of need. While no profession is without the potential for mistakes, the healthcare industry has a duty of care to protect lives.
Preventable medical mistakes are all too common. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, one in seven hospitalized Medicare patients experience a medical mistake. These types of mistakes are all too common and can happen to anyone, at any age; if your medical care or that of a loved one turned tragic due to one of the following factors, you may want to contact a lawyer without delay:
- Tired doctor: A study conducted by researchers at Stanford School of Medicine cites physician burnout as a contributing factor to many medical mistakes. The study found that physician burnout is a national epidemic that involves doctors feeling exhausted, cynical, and overwhelmed—conditions that affect patient safety.
- Poorly trained medical staff: A rush to fill position vacancies may lead to insufficient training for new hires. A poorly trained staff can make a medical error that goes unnoticed until it is too late.
- A communication breakdown: Most patients seek care from more than one medical provider. When multiple providers fail to coordinate a patient’s care, the results can prove dangerous and intentionally deadly for those in their care.
- This is not a complete list but rather a few examples of how medical care can go tragically wrong.
The Financial Impact of a Medical Mistake
Medical costs continue to climb, making a medical mistake expensive and stressful for your financial situation. Your inability to work, along with your new physical ailment, demands accountability.
At the core of medical mistakes is the original condition that caused you to seek treatment. From the birth of a baby to a standard surgical procedure, the trust placed with the medical providers is understandable.
Your medical condition and pursuit of care should not result in drastic life changes and financial challenges for your family. The financial impact of a medical mistake can far exceed your personal ability to pay. When the mistake is due to negligence, the party liable should pay and not you.
The financial impact of a medical mistake can result in:
- An inability to work: A serious medical mistake can end a career that you worked hard to build.
- Medical expenses: The medical expenses you accumulate may continue throughout your lifetime or that of a loved one.
- Pain and suffering: A medical mistake can result in psychological and emotional changes, causing you to feel anxious and depressed.
If you lost a close loved one, you may never fully recover from your grief. The knowledge that your permanent loss is due to negligence is maddening. Mourning your loved one with a funeral or memorial service is just one way to channel your grief. Payment for such services is just one form of compensation possible with a wrongful death claim and lawsuit.
Medical Mistakes: A Leading Cause of Death
According to John Hopkins Medicine, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Patient safety experts attribute approximately 250,000 deaths yearly due to medical errors.
If you lost a loved one due to a medical mistake, your relationship to the decedent determines your eligibility to file a lawsuit. Wrongful death law is confusing for those unfamiliar with state law.
Common types of relationships that generally qualify include:
- Surviving spouse
Types of damages typically pursued in a wrongful death case include:
- Funeral costs
- Medical expenses for the decedent
- Lost wages
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of companionship
No one should lose their life due to medical negligence. Patients are most vulnerable when they are not feeling well or unable to communicate their concerns.
Saying an unexpected goodbye to a loved one is sad and devastating. Consider leaving the legal details of your case in the hands of a qualified medical malpractice attorney.
Insurance Company Settlements
Many medical malpractice cases settle without going to trial. Negotiating with an insurance company for the best possible settlement is one of the most significant ways a lawyer can assist you.
Insurance companies want to protect their best interests by offering you a low settlement. Their strategy generally involves contacting malpractice victims before they have the chance to hire a lawyer.
Trying to negotiate a settlement on your own is never wise for several reasons. These reasons include their years of experience with the negotiation process and their tactics designed to confuse malpractice victims.
Never speak with an insurance company adjuster without legal representation. Doing so places you at risk for accepting less than you deserve. Instead, refer them to your lawyer immediately.
Accepting an insurance settlement alone leaves you without legal options in the future. This is of concern because should your condition worse, you cannot pursue a lawsuit for additional compensation.
Insurance companies have far more experience than the average medical malpractice victim. Do not let an insurance representative convince you to settle without a lawyer. Give careful thought to contacting a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible and before signing any documents.
If your case must proceed to trial, a lawyer with trial experience is essential for your case. Presenting a strong case for fair compensation requires presentation skills. Making a case for how the medical malpractice impacted your life is critical for convincing a jury to award your damages.
Understanding Possible Forms of Compensation
Compensation for damages is a key goal of civil litigation.
A medical malpractice lawyer can decide the best approach for pursuing compensation for:
- Medical costs: The medical error expenses are expenses you should not pay but rather those responsible for your harm.
- Continuous medical costs: The ongoing expenses relating to your medical injuries, such as rehabilitation and therapies.
- Lost wages: The income lost due to time recovering from your injury.
- The potential loss of income: The income possible had you been able to return to your previous job.
- Pain and suffering: The emotional, psychological, and other relatable stresses from your ordeal.
Medical malpractice cases differ in details and experiences. The parties liable for the harm may involve one doctor or multiple defendants. Building a strong case and proving negligence is how a lawyer can help you.
Civil law is challenging, and it only takes one complicated detail to change the course of your case. Placing your case in the hands of a lawyer can save you time, frustration, and allow you more time for your recovery.
Planning for Your Future Medical Needs
While it is impossible to predict the future, a serious medical mistake can leave you with an extensive need for medical and personal care. Paying for such care throughout your lifetime requires skillful planning during the pursuit of financial compensation.
The unknown of your future needs is another way a medical malpractice lawyer can help you. By reviewing the details of your injury and its impact on your life, your lawyer can fight for fair and just compensation.
A brain injury or a spinal cord injury can reach costs of millions of dollars throughout a patient’s lifetime. These costs are crushing families who relied on their loved ones for financial support. The loss of income, in addition to the soaring care costs, can result in severe stress and heartache.
While you want to do all you can for your loved one, their need for care may far surpass your ability to care for them. Planning for their care is critical to protecting their future.
When a medical mistake results from negligence, you or a loved one deserve access to quality care. No one should go without prescription medications, medical supplies, or other needs for a comfortable quality of life.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations restricts the time allowed for pursuing a civil lawsuit. The complexity of the law and court system is why hiring a lawyer is a good idea.
The wrong form or missing an important court date can impact your case. The time a lawyer spends investigating a case and determining liability is time you can spend with your family.
Following state laws regarding the deadline for filing a medical malpractice case is imperative for the best results possible. If you want to pursue a civil claim and lawsuit, you must act now.
Civil Cases versus Criminal Cases
If your medical professional faces criminal charges, their criminal case has no bearing on your civil case against them. Criminal and civil law are completely separate types of law.
Civil cases involve the pursuit of financial compensation from those liable for the harm. It is your right to pursue such litigation when you suffer harm due to medical malpractice.
Contacting a lawyer to discuss your options for legal action is easy. Most medical malpractice firms offer free case evaluations. During this time, you will learn whether you have a possible case for a civil lawsuit.
If you have a case for possible compensation, you must tread carefully how you communicate with others. Refrain from sharing information on social media and refrain from any conversations that indicate you are responsible for your medical mistake.
The Clock Starts Ticking Now
The time for pursuing civil action begins at the moment of injury. While there is no way to predict the amount of settlement possible, it is worth pursuing when you are the victim of another person’s negligence.
Mistakes in the workplace are not uncommon, yet there is no room for mistakes when it comes to the medical profession. A tired doctor or untrained nurse is no excuse for medical malpractice.
If a trusted healthcare professional placed your life at risk or caused the untimely death of a loved one, consider legal action. Most medical malpractice attorneys do not collect a fee unless they secure compensation for you. If they do not win your case, you do not pay.
This leaves victims of medical malpractice with nothing to lose as they demand accountability. The tragedy of a medical mistake can cause a patient emotional, psychological, financial, and physical stress. This stress would not occur had the liable party used care.
Do Not Miss Your Chance for Possible Compensation
Compensation, no matter what the amount, can help ease your financial stress. The peace of mind an attorney provides as they negotiate for a fair settlement is priceless for you and your family.
What happened to you or your loved one is unimaginable. yet an all too common result of overworked, under-trained, and otherwise negligent healthcare workers. If you suffered serious harm or lost a close loved one due to medical malpractice, give serious thought to holding the liable party accountable, and preventing another patient from suffering the same kind of harm.