Medical malpractice lawsuits can prove very complex and incredibly difficult to win. All too often, even in jury trials, victims who may have sustained severe injuries due to the negligence of their care providers may end up struggling to get the total compensation they deserve. What are your odds of winning a medical malpractice claim? Can you improve your odds of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit? Take a look at the numbers and how they may impact your claim. If you would like to learn more about your potential recovery options, speak with a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer today.
How to Win a Medical Malpractice Claim Guide
- By the Numbers: The Odds of Winning a Malpractice Lawsuit
- Why Are Medical Malpractice Cases Difficult?
- Should I Settle in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
- How to Improve Your Odds of Winning a Medical Malpractice Suit
- Do You Need Help With a Medical Malpractice Claim?
By the Numbers: The Odds of Winning a Malpractice Lawsuit
According to one large-scale study of medical malpractice claims, physicians win:
- 80 to 90 percent of jury trials involving weak evidence of medical negligence
- 70 percent of jury trials in borderline cases
- 50 percent of cases with strong evidence of medical negligence
Unfortunately, it can be incredibly challenging to win a medical malpractice case. Trying to handle that case alone can further interfere with the odds that you will get the compensation you deserve following medical malpractice. If you're not certain how much your claim is worth, consider looking at previous settlements and getting an idea of the average medical malpractice claim payout.
Why Are Medical Malpractice Cases Difficult?
For several reasons, medical malpractice cases may prove more difficult than other types of personal injury lawsuits.
Medical Claims Involve Complex Legal Issues
Understanding the medical terminology involved in a medical malpractice case can be incredibly difficult. Often, even the patient who suffered the malpractice event may have difficulty understanding the complexities of the case. The jury involved in a medical malpractice case may also have trouble understanding exactly what led to the medical malpractice event and how the physician or care provider deviated from the usual standard of care.
You Need a Very Strong Case to Win a Medical Malpractice Claim
People generally want to trust medical providers and feel confident that they will provide a high standard of care. Not only that, medical malpractice may require extreme negligence on the part of the physician. In many cases, minor errors or simple mistakes could prove much more difficult to clearly establish as physician errors.
It Can Be Difficult to Differentiate Symptoms
Often, in a medical malpractice case, it can be challenging to differentiate between the symptoms caused by the initial condition and the symptoms caused by the medical malpractice. For example, suppose that your care provider misdiagnosed your condition. You may have a tough time establishing which symptoms came from the misdiagnosis and lack of treatment and which symptoms came from your initial ailment.
You Need a Medical Expert
To put together an effective, comprehensive medical malpractice claim, you will need a medical expert, generally another medical care provider in the same field, to lay out how the care provider that committed an act of negligence against you proved negligent in your care. In many cases, physicians do not want to testify against one another except in cases of gross negligence. As a result, it can be tough to build and ultimately win your medical malpractice case.
Should I Settle in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In many cases, if the entity that committed medical malpractice against you offers a settlement offer, you may want to accept it. A settlement can help provide immediate compensation for your medical losses and give you the financial support that may make it easier for you to manage your symptoms. However, that does not mean you should immediately accept a settlement offer from a medical care provider.
Start by talking to a lawyer about your case and the settlement offered. In many cases, you will receive additional information from that communication that may make it easier to decide whether you want to move forward with your lawsuit or accept that settlement.
How to Improve Your Odds of Winning a Medical Malpractice Suit
Dealing with a medical malpractice lawsuit can prove incredibly difficult. Fortunately, you can take several steps that may help minimize the challenges you face and increase the odds that you will win your lawsuit and the compensation you reasonably deserve for your injuries.
1. Contact a lawyer as early in the claim process as possible.
If you suffered negligence at the hands of a medical care provider, you need a lawyer on your side as soon as possible. A lawyer can offer several vital advantages as you progress with your claim.
A lawyer can help collect the evidence you need to win your claim.
Building a medical malpractice claim involves putting together a great deal of evidence that will help establish all the details of your case: what you suffered because of the medical malpractice, why you feel that the doctor or care provider failed to provide a high standard of medical treatment you expected and deserved, and what treatment you should have received, given the conditions you described.
A lawyer can also help collect any past evidence of medical malpractice on the part of the caregiver or facility, which may make it easier to show a pattern of negligence that may ultimately have led to your injuries.
A lawyer can connect with expert medical witnesses who can help lay out how your care provider deviated from the standard of care.
To win a medical malpractice claim, you will need an expert medical witness to testify about how the decisions of the medical care provider and the standard of care you received deviated from the standard of care based on the symptoms you presented with and any scans and tests performed.
In cases like never events, when a doctor commits a clear surgical error, you may have an easier time finding a medical care provider who will testify on your behalf. In cases of misdiagnosis, failure to treat, or improper treatment, on the other hand, you may have a more challenging time finding a medical provider who will testify.
A lawyer, in many cases, already has a network of medical experts they can consult about the complexities of medical malpractice claims. Those medical experts can provide essential insights into what act of negligence the care provider committed and how those damaging acts led to your injuries.
A lawyer can lay your claim out clearly and compellingly.
In many cases, your medical malpractice claim will end up in court before a jury. Whether you file a claim through the medical malpractice insurance provider or have to go to court to argue for the compensation you deserve, a clear, compelling claim can make it easier for you to recover the total compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer can help detail the negligence committed by your care provider, the evidence in your favor, and the damages you sustained due to the care provider’s negligent behavior.
A lawyer can make sure you understand your rights and help you determine when you might want to accept a settlement offer.
Dealing with insurance providers, including medical malpractice insurance providers, may mean receiving unfair, low settlement offers or going through multiple rounds of negotiation as you struggle to get the compensation you deserve for the malpractice you may have suffered.
Working with a lawyer gives you a better idea of how much compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses, which may make handling that claim and the decision-making process more manageable. A lawyer can also help you determine your odds of winning your claim if you have to go to court and help you determine when you may want to accept an offer as presented rather than missing out on some of the compensation you deserve.
A lawyer can help make sure you have all the information you may need about the medical malpractice claim process.
You need as much information as possible about the claim process before you start moving forward with a medical malpractice claim. During any personal injury claim, a lawyer can help walk you through that process, providing you with more information about how to protect yourself and your right to compensation. Due to the complexities of a medical malpractice claim, that assistance may prove even more critical.
By working with a lawyer, you can learn more about the potential challenges you may face and the steps you may need to take to protect your right to compensation following any medical malpractice event.
A lawyer can help represent you if your claim has to go to court.
Going to court can feel incredibly stressful. Your stress levels may increase even more if you do not feel prepared for the court case or if you question whether you have collected the proper evidence for your claim. A lawyer can help provide essential representation that can make you feel more confident as you present your case.
2. Start the medical malpractice claim process as soon as possible.
To increase your odds of winning a medical malpractice claim, get in touch with a lawyer and start the claim process as soon as you can after discovering evidence of medical malpractice. Remember that you may have a more limited time to file a medical malpractice claim than other types of injury claims. Some different common types of medical malpractice claims would include doctor negligence, surgical errors, and hospital negligence.
In Florida, for example, you may have four years to file most injury claims, but you may have just two years before the statute of limitations expires on a medical malpractice claim. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations runs out, the court may refuse to hear your claim, making it impossible for you to recover compensation for your injuries.
3. Clearly document the impact the act of medical malpractice has had on you.
As part of your medical malpractice claim process, make sure you lay out the impact you have suffered because of that medical malpractice. You may note, for example, that you have significantly decreased quality of life because of the doctor’s error, whether you did not receive the treatment you needed for a severe illness or you ended up with serious damages because of a mistake during a surgery.
You may want to keep a journal that lays out those losses and your challenges. In some cases, the insurance company may want you to make a statement about your losses, or the court may want you to speak about the impact of the medical malpractice across your life. That statement may substantially impact the compensation you ultimately recover, including compensation for pain and suffering.
However, you may have a tough time laying out all the challenges caused by the care provider’s negligent actions. By documenting those damages throughout your recovery and the progression of your claim, you make it easier to lay them out for the medical malpractice insurance provider or the court.
4. Keep track of your medical records.
In some cases, unethical medical providers may try to make your medical records disappear, especially if they realize that you plan to file a medical malpractice claim. By keeping track of your own medical records, however, you increase the odds that you will have those records to act as evidence if needed to clearly establish your grounds for a claim.
Ask for your medical records as soon as possible, and keep a copy yourself. You may also want to make copies for your lawyer and store the originals securely.
Do You Need Help With a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Winning a medical malpractice claim can prove very difficult. However, that does not mean that you cannot win. If you suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a medical care provider, you deserve compensation for those losses. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon after the incident as possible to get more information about the compensation you deserve, your odds of winning compensation, and how you can increase your odds of winning that medical malpractice claim.