Medical crisis are stressful for patients. It can even be more stressful if something related to the patient’s treatment goes wrong, resulting in an unexpected and negative outcome. Patients in this position may seriously consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical malpractice is when a doctor’s care of the patient does not meet acceptable standards of care within their geographic area and, as a result of the substandard care, the patient was injured. Within their first year of practice, 7.4 percent of all physicians will typically have a medical malpractice claim filed against them. However, physicians feel that the risk is much greater, at about 20 percent.
The majority of medical malpractice lawsuits result from all types of surgeries. This may be the case because it is a medical task that requires the physician take direct action. Additionally, medical malpractice victims are more likely to feel negative surgical effects compared to other medical procedures.
Patients need to prove the elements of negligence in order to have a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. This is proven though the testimony of an expert witness. The expert witness is another physician who has reviewed the case and testifies about how the physician deviated from the standard of care.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are very time consuming. In New York, the average amount of time it takes is four years. However, the majority of these lawsuits are settled prior to litigation. Additionally, these lawsuits can be very expensive for both the patient and the doctor.
If a plaintiff has proven their case, then they are entitled to the damages that resulted from their injury. There are two types of damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include medical expenses, lost earnings, impairment of future earnings, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of parental guidance. Punitive damages are meant to punish, and are only awarded when the doctor acted in an intentionally reckless and grossly negligent manner when administering treatment.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.