Legal Guide

When Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Medical malpractice causes a great deal of harm. In the United States alone, some 250,000 patients die each year from medical malpractice mistakes. This number puts medical error as the third most common cause of death in the U.S. As a result of its prevalence, most medical providers have some form of medical malpractice insurance. Medical malpractice insurance works just like car insurance: it covers a medical provider in the event of a medical malpractice claim up to a certain amount. 

If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you deserve compensation for damages. You may wonder, When should I hire a medical malpractice lawyer? The short answer is that you should do so right away. Contacting a medical malpractice lawyer for a consultation as soon as possible is the best way to assess your claim. 

Many victims of medical malpractice worry about lawyer fees before contacting an attorney. However, most medical malpractice attorneys offer free consultations and work on the basis of a contingency fee. Under a contingency fee payment arrangement, you only pay your attorney if your claim succeeds. Thus, if a medical malpractice attorney believes your claim will not succeed, they will not take your case.

What Is the Definition of Medical Malpractice?

The most common definition of medical malpractice has three parts:

  1. A medical provider must make a mistake in their practice that amounts to a violation of the medical standard of care;
  2. The mistake must cause injury to their patient; and
  3. The injury the patient suffers as a result of the mistake must cause significant damage.

The amount of damage needed to support a medical malpractice claim is subjective but important. The significance of the damage a given medical mistake causes you will be crucial when a medical malpractice attorney decides whether to accept your case. The significance of damage is of the utmost importance because medical malpractice claims are expensive to litigate. They often involve expert witness testimony from more than one individual to show that the provider in question did violate a standard of care. So one of the first things an attorney will consider is whether the damages outweigh potential litigation costs.

What Are Some Common Medical Malpractice Mistakes?

To help you identify whether you are the victim of medical malpractice and should hire a medical malpractice attorney, you should know what types of mistakes typically violate the standard of care. Some examples of the most common medical malpractice mistakes include things like:

  • Unnecessary surgery,
  • Diagnosis failure,
  • Misdiagnosis,
  • Errors in surgery,
  • Disregard for patient history,
  • Premature discharge from medical supervision,
  • Proper testing failure,
  • Improper medication prescription,
  • Ignoring or misreading lab results, and
  • Erroneous instructions.

It is important to note that his list does not represent all the errors that may occur. Instead, the list is some of the most common medical malpractice mistakes. If one of these or any other medical mistake causes you an injury and significant damage, you likely have a medical malpractice claim. If so, you deserve compensation. Don’t wait to enforce your rights. Instead, seek a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

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