Because they require experts to win. Just claiming a doctor, nurse, or a hospital hurt you or caused the death of someone isn’t enough. The experts we need are usually fellow doctors and nurses. And they probably won’t be from South Carolina because providers generally don’t testify against each other here.
Good experts, like anyone else who’s good at a highly technical and scientific job, are very expensive. They get paid based on the time they invest in the case, and their time is extremely valuable.
Most folks just don’t have the money to pay experts, so your malpractice lawyer pays them, then gets reimbursed from your verdict or settlement. To put on a malpractice case, we’ve got to pay an expert to review your medical records to see if you even have a case. If you do, the expert’s called to do even more extensive work, like…
- Reviewing any other evidence related to his testimony. During the discovery process, the other side will have to hand over information to us. Any medical malpractice claim will involve going through additional documents or even old medical records. We’re trial lawyers, not medical experts; we will sometimes have to pay to get a real expert to read through this material. That’s how we will figure out that the defense is planning to blame the harm on someone else on or a different condition.
- Preparing for his deposition. An expert will usually give formal sworn testimony outside court and answer questions from the other side. Don't worry: we also get to demand that the other side’s experts give a deposition for us. Even though an expert witness may have done this dozens of times before, he or she will need time to prepare for the specifics of your case.
- Preparing for trial. If the case can’t be settled earlier, the expert will also need to get ready for the courtroom by thoroughly reviewing all the evidence in the case.
Expenses stretch dramatically when the out-of-state expert is called to travel here to testify.
And we may need more than one expert. For example, if you lose a family member to an undiagnosed heart attack in the emergency room, that could require experts on emergency room care, nursing, and cardiology (heart medicine).
Because of these costs to the law firm and the fact we don’t get paid for a tremendous amount of very complicated work unless you get a settlement, good malpractice lawyers are very careful about selecting only the most meritorious cases.
But don’t let that discourage you from seeking legal answers if you or someone you love got hurt—or worse—from medical care. You owe it to yourself to find out. And malpractice cases can keep it from happening to someone else. Remember: nothing changes if nobody says anything about it. If you feel you may have been harmed or lost a loved one from a medical mistake, start a live chat right now about your situation to see if you qualify to be one of our clients.