The healthcare industry is one of the most stressful industries to work in. It is ripe with pressure and risks. Healthcare professionals have a massive responsibility to offer care for their patients that meets a certain standard. So, what do you do when a medical practitioner fails to meet the expected standard of care?
This is the basis of a medical malpractice claim. As a victim, you must consult a qualified medical malpractice attorney to punish the at-fault party. They offer assistance with everything you need to prove liability and claim fair compensation for your losses.
Victims or individuals who suspect they have been wronged by a healthcare professional will have a lot of doubts. They may be directly related to the claim itself or to their health condition. This article lists six of the most frequently asked questions in a medical malpractice claim.
1. Do I need a lawyer for a medical malpractice claim?
Yes, you do. An experienced lawyer has a good grasp of the local laws and has faced several similar cases. They know what challenges to expect and how to resolve them. They will also help file legal paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure you get fair compensation for your losses.
2. I’ve just undergone surgery but I don’t feel so good. Can I sue my surgeon?
The elements of personal injury are the foundation of medical malpractice claims. The elements are:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty of care
You’ll need to prove these elements for a successful medical malpractice claim. To answer the question, you can sue your surgeon if they failed to meet the expected standard of care and this failure led to an injury.
3. How long do I have to sue?
The time period available for a victim to seek legal action for an incident/accident is known as the statute of limitations. In addition to the statute of limitations, other elements come into play. They are:
- The state of residence
- The type of malpractice
- The patient’s age
- The date the injury was discovered
It is important to consult a lawyer for medical malpractice claims. They know the statute of limitations for each state and will make the next move accordingly.
4. How much can I receive as compensation for my medical malpractice case?
The answer to this question depends on the type of damage you’ve suffered. Victims of medical malpractice claims can seek three types of damages. They are:
- Economic Damages: Compensates for medical costs, lost income, loss of ability to earn, costs incurred to purchase assistive equipment and services, and costs for future treatment
- Non-Economic Damages: Compensates for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, disability, and disfigurement
- Punitive Damages: Compensates for the disregard or the reckless behavior exhibited by the healthcare professional
Your attorney will factor in the losses you have suffered and calculate a compensation sum accordingly. Compensation for non-economic damages falls on the higher side when compared to economic damages.
5. What are damage caps in a medical malpractice claim?
Damage caps restrict the amount of compensation the plaintiff can receive. It is applicable to the total sum or to a part of the sum. The purpose of damage caps is to maintain a sense of fairness, i.e., to avoid penalizing the negligent party too much and excessively awarding the plaintiff.
6. What is informed consent?
Informed consent is the responsibility a healthcare provider must adhere to before a medical, surgical, or any other type of treatment. It is the duty of the healthcare provider to explain the risks, expected benefits, and alternative treatments. Informed consent is usually obtained through a patient’s written agreement before surgery or treatment.
Those were six of the most commonly asked questions related to medical malpractice claims. They may clear up some of the doubts you have regarding medical malpractice. As informative as this article is, it is not a substitute for a lawyer. If you feel you’re a victim of medical malpractice, get in touch with an experienced lawyer to discuss the next steps.