5 Things You Need to Know about Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Medical malpractice suits are nothing new. We are living in an increasingly litigious society where patients don’t think twice about pursuing a malpractice lawsuit against a medical practitioner. For a physician, it can be very stressful when a patient they helped decides to sue, but medical practitioners are not above the law and when things to go wrong, they must be held accountable.
Fortunately for wronged patients and their relatives, Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers are there to assist. An experienced malpractice lawyer can dramatically improve the success rate of a medical malpractice lawsuit because it is their job to ensure the case reaches a successful conclusion. However, success is never a sure thing, so to help your lawsuit achieve the outcome you need – and deserve – here are some things you should be aware of.
Does the Case Have Merit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely common, but this doesn’t mean that every case that proceeds through the justice system has merit. Unfortunately, many cases lack merit and lawyers cannot establish whether the plaintiff has sustained an injury. If the lawyer is unable to find enough evidence of wrongdoing or documentation can’t be recreated after the fact, the case is unlikely to have sufficient merit to proceed.
Be Aware of the Statute of Limitation
Each state has its own statute of limitation law that dictates the time period within which a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed. In Florida, it is 2-4 years, but in New Hampshire, it is 3 years from the date of the discovery of an injury. Always check the exact statute of limitation relevant to you.
Target the Right Individual
Physicians are usually in the front line for medical malpractice lawsuits, but it is important to realize that other medical practitioners may be equally, if not more so, to blame for what happened. Nurses, lab staff, and other peripheral personnel should be considered when blame is being apportioned in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Most malpractice lawsuits are costly and it doesn’t take long for costs to spiral out of control. You may need to hire expert medical witnesses to testify for the plaintiff, and financial experts to testify to how badly the plaintiff has been affected by the injury. Many of these expert witnesses will want a retainer so they are available for a long, drawn out court case. It is important for the plaintiff and attorney to keep a close eye on costs, or the case may end up costing more in legal fees than the level of damages warrants.
Be in it for the Long Haul
It is not unusual for medical malpractice cases to drag on for years. Many long-running cases are extremely complex and it takes time for the necessary documentation and expert witnesses to be assembled. There is also the problem of unnecessary claims brought by people who don’t fully understand the nature of a malpractice lawsuit, which clog up the system.
Nobody should pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit unnecessarily, but if your case has merit and you are prepared to fight for justice, speak to an experienced malpractice lawyer today.