Legal Nuggets- Medical Malpractice
A medical doctor or other medical professional can be sued for malpractice if their care fell below the recognized standard of care in their profession, and if that bad care caused an injury. However, a medical caregiver is not liable for a bad result that was not caused by malpractice. A doctor does not insure that his or her care will always result in an improvement or cure of a medical problem.
While a few cases of malpractice are clear and obvious, if for example a surgeon amputated the wrong limb; most cases are complex and whether the doctor’s care was substandard is not an easy judgment.
Medical malpractice cases are expensive to litigate. Both sides will have to retain experts to testify and often there are many involved. In addition to those experts’ fees, which can range from $200 per hour to $1,000 per hour, there are large costs for copying, deposition transcripts, and travel.
Many states have passed special laws making it harder to bring medical malpractice cases to court and limiting the damages that can be awarded, even to catastrophically injured plaintiffs. Also, juries tend to favor doctors and give them the benefit of any doubts.
On the other hand, some of the larger verdicts that are awarded in civil cases are in medical malpractice cases because the injuries from malpractice are often horrible. If the doctor or hospital has aggravated the situation with callousness or attempted to cover-up the facts then the jurors may wish to punish the wrongdoers with a large award of damages.
Every case must be evaluated on it s own merits. If you or someone you know has suffered a bad medical result, which you suspect could have been caused by malpractice, then you should act at once to have the case investigated by an experienced attorney. Delay will only hurt the case.