A medical malpractice attorney can help a client who has had a doctor who has committed professional negligence by either act or omission, which then makes the treatment or procedure turn out to be worse than the accepted standard within the medical community. A medical malpractice attorney can also help a family who has had a family member die or be injured by a doctor who has committed professional negligence. Each country has its own regulations and standards that define professional negligence. Sometimes doctors and other medical professionals obtain professional liability insurance to help defray the risk and also the costs of a lawsuit based on their errors.
One statistic shows that about 200,000 people are killed each year by medical errors. If the family decided to sue, this is where a medical malpractice attorney would step in and help them win their case. In October of 2008, there were an estimated $324 million worth of costs for the hospitals where medical errors occurred. Even though there are about 200,000 people killed each year because of medical errors, only about 15,000 to 19,000 actual suits are brought against doctors each year. In 2003 the expenses due to these lawsuits was at a 20-year high with $4.8 billion in payouts. Since then, however, the payouts have been on a decrease, and in 2011, the total amount of payouts hit a 10-year low. Each state has its own amount of payouts, and these quantities vary greatly.
In order for plaintiffs to win their case, they will need to have all four elements of the tort in order. The first thing that a claimant needs to prove is that there was a duty owed to the patient. This is to say that they need to prove that the hospital or doctor had undertaken the treatment of the patient, because any time a hospital or doctor actually undertakes the care or treatment of a patient, then there is a legal duty to care for that patient. The second aspect of the tort that they need to have in place is that duty was actually breached. This means that they have to prove the healthcare provider’s failure to provide the relevant standard care. The third thing they need to prove is that a breach in standard treatment practice actually caused injury and that said breach was in fact the cause of that injury. Finally, they need to prove that there was damage as a result of the aforementioned mistreatment. Without damage, be it emotional or pecuniary, then the case will fail, even if the healthcare professional was actually negligent. Even if there was damage, it could have reasonably occurred without negligence.
Another thing that a plaintiff should know is that there is a limited time in which they can file for the suit. These time limits often vary depending on what kind of professional negligence occurred and where it happened. Often, it is good to file as soon as possible where these cases are concerned. That way the process can get started as soon as possible. The complexities of these varied legal requirements make the consultation of a professional medical malpractice attorney most important for a victim’s success with a claim.
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