The law of the United States makes it very difficult to win medical malpractice cases. The reason for this is that the attorney defending the doctor or health care professional only needs to prove that he/she had performed his or her task to meet a “standard of care”. In the defense of a claim of negligence, the doctor or medical professional does not need to show that he or she was an exemplary practitioner. The law only requires that the doctor’s care should be “reasonably careful”. The sad fact is that even if the consequences of the doctor’s actions were tragic or fatal, the doctor and insurance carrier may not bear responsibility or pay damages if the defending attorney is able to prove the doctor had performed to the standard of care.
Winning a medical malpractice case requires the admission of the testimony of an expert witness physician. The witness would have to testify as to what would be the standard of care within the relevant medical practice and also testify that the accused party had performed below the standard of care. The witness would also be called upon to connect the doctor’s substandard diagnosis and/or treatment with the injuries or death of the patient. Expert witnesses may demand a fee in excess of $1500 for affidavits, preliminary reports and testimony for a trial. The injured patient may have to pay this amount even before filing for medical malpractice in court. The total cost of a typical medical malpractice case that goes to trial would be between $30,000 and $50,000. The negligence case is very difficult to prove and so injured plaintiffs are usually discouraged by attorneys from going to trial unless the case involves tragic losses like permanent disability, severe injuries, or death.
Winning other malpractice suits is equally tough. Engineering professionals, attorneys, accountants, insurance brokers, and real estate brokers are all liable to face malpractice suits if they are considered negligent in the performance of their duties. However, as with medical malpractice, proving negligence and performance below a certain professional norm, is what causes such cases to be very difficult to win.
Your attorney will only advise you to file a case for medical malpractice if he or she finds your case justifiable to pursue, i.e: if the consequences resulted in catastrophic consequences. Always engage the most experienced attorneys for such cases who have won large verdicts and settlements for medical malpractice.
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