Medical malpractice attorneys are trained to investigate and build a strong case that establishes the healthcare provider’s actions did not meet the standard of care. The attorneys rely on expert witnesses to compare the activities of the healthcare professional with accepted medical practices.
For example, in delayed diagnosis cases, experts assess whether another competent healthcare professional would have made a timely and accurate diagnosis. They also evaluate the damages caused by the negligence.
Duty of Care
Every medical professional owes a duty to patients they will offer care consistent with the standards set by their industry. When a healthcare provider violates this duty and causes injury, the victim may have grounds for a malpractice suit.
To file a malpractice claim, the best medical malpractice attorneys in New Jersey need to establish that a doctor-patient relationship exists. They also need to prove that the medical professional failed to uphold this standard of care and that this failure directly led to a patient’s injury.
This requires keen attention to detail and communication with their client, medical experts, and jurors. Malpractice attorneys need to be able to effectively explain complex concepts in terms that non-medical people can understand. They must also access the medical records necessary to build a case.
Breach of Duty
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed against doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers. However, the vast majority of malpractice claims are brought against physicians.
Medical practitioners must provide their patients with the standard of care for their profession and specialty. The standard of care is established by comparing the doctor’s actions to those of other professionals with similar skills, training, and expertise under the same circumstances.
Proving that a physician breached their duty of care is the first step in a successful malpractice claim. The next step is establishing that this breach directly caused injury or death. This is known as causation or proximate cause. Medical malpractice attorneys are skilled in proving these legal elements through careful analysis and thorough investigation. For example, personal injury attorneys West Orange help you get the accountability and justice you deserve.
As the victim of medical malpractice, you are owed considerable money to pay for your injuries. This is particularly true when your injury results in loss of life or disfigurement.
You must prove a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and your injury or worsened condition to be awarded compensation. This is known as proving causation and requires an expert witness.
A lawyer can help you determine what damages you are owed for economic and non-economic losses, including medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of life’s enjoyment. A jury can award these damages during the trial or via a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. The latter option can often be a lengthy process.
Many medical malpractice cases require expert witnesses to define how a doctor’s actions deviated from the medical standard of care, and that deviation caused your injury. The expert must also opine the damages you’ve suffered because of your injury or illness.
Some errors are so clear that a jury can presume negligence based on res ipsa loquitur. This legal principle says if an injury would not usually occur without failure, it results from a medical provider’s mistake. But that is rare, and it can be challenging for an attorney to convince a jury of this.
Medical experts must meet specific criteria to serve as a witness in a medical malpractice case, such as advanced degrees, board certification, clinical and academic experience, and specialization within their field. Many states also have panels that review potential medical experts to ensure they have the qualifications and knowledge needed for their role in litigation.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and involve substantial financial resources, resulting in litigation costs that may offset the payout awarded to an injured patient. These costs have led to calls for tort reform in the United States at both the state and federal levels.
The injured patient must demonstrate that the physician’s negligence caused harm and significant losses. This includes economic damages, such as medical expenses and loss of earning potential. It must also include non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering, and loss of companionship.
Attorneys conduct extensive pretrial discovery, or factual investigation of parties to a legal dispute, to build their cases. This information is presented to an impartial jury, which must find that it was more likely than not that the physician committed professional negligence.