The Basics of Medical Malpractice

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has released findings that show medical negligence as the third leading cause of American deaths. Only heart disease and cancer are ahead. During 2012, the $3 billion in payouts for medical malpractice cases averaged out to one payout every 43 minutes.

To understand medical malpractice, one must understand that all professionals in the legal field must follow a standard of care that is universal. The standard of care is thought to be whatever a competent, reasonably judicious medical professional would or would not do in similar circumstances. Should his or her behavior deviate from this standard of care it is considered negligent. When a doctor’s negligence is the cause of a patient’s injury, a medical malpractice case exists.

Medical malpractice can include a number of different circumstances. However, not all patients whose health care is compromised or worsened is a victim of medical malpractice. Negligence can be proven in cases like failure to diagnose, surgery errors and birth defects but not all cases are due to medical negligence.

Often a patient’s course will take a turn for the worse during the treatment administered by a physician. This does not prove negligence or medical malpractice. The human body is a mysterious thing. In some cases a doctor may do everything possible and still not be able to stop or cure an illness. Sometimes even the most basic, curable illnesses turn deadly with no explanation. If the doctor chose his medical treatment path with care and carried it out diligently, there is no case of medical malpractice.

In the same vein, not all maladies and illnesses are treatable. A doctor may be able to treat the patient for some symptoms, but if the illness is terminal or otherwise untreatable, no case of negligence exists.

These cases are extremely expensive and complicated. This is in part why such large numbers of surgical errors go without legal consequences. It is also why a victim of medical malpractice should contact a lawyer immediately. Evidence must be gathered, investigations conducted and witnesses gathered all in a timely fashion.

These types of claims are particularly difficult to prove. Medical professionals are exceedingly frightened of medical malpractice cases. They go to extremes to avoid negligence in in protecting themselves against claims of negligence. Their insurance carriers employ scores of pricey, powerful attorneys well-schooled in the red tape of medical malpractice litigation.

There is a statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases. The statute of limitations is the time limit the victim has from the date of the injury to file a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. In the state of California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is one year from the date of the injury or one year from the date the injury becomes known.

If a claim of medical malpractice exists, the victim may be entitled to a settlement of a sum of money determined to equal the costs and pain of the injury. The most often compensated areas include:

• Pain & Suffering
• Loss of enjoyment in life
• Medical bill reimbursement
• Lost wages recompense

The amount of the reward settlement will vary according to many circumstances. The severity of the injury is a major consideration. Others include the effect on the injury to the way the victim lives the rest of his life and the effect it has on his earning capacity and future wages.

Moseley Collins is an experienced and knowledgeable Christian attorney who is dedicated to his clients. He understands the pain and suffering involved in a medical malpractice case and gives his all to helping his clients receive the settlement they are deserving of.

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