There’s a lot of controversy about medical malpractice, but few people truly know what it takes to get a settlement or win a trial. To hear misguided, ignorant loudmouths who bellyache about “jackpot justice”—which is a myth—you’d think all you do is file a lawsuit, sit back, and wait to collect.
Nothing is further from the truth.
The truth is, medical malpractice cases are tough to win. For lawyers, they are expensive and risky cases. Doctors often win. Due to this, as sad as it is, these cases are built around the most grievously injured victims or families who lost a loved one due to a medical mistake.
Here’s what we’ve basically got to prove—in plain English—for a solid medical malpractice case.
The provider broke a safety rule designed to protect the patient from harm
In the medical world, these safety rules are accepted standards of the provider’s specialty, be it a doctor, nurse, or hospital.
Know this: breaking the rule doesn’t have to be intentional. In fact, it’s almost always not. If you think about it, intentionally breaking a safety rule might very well be a crime! Instead, malpractice cases are built on medical mistakes or errors caused by provider carelessness. The legal term is “negligence.” In legalese, it looks like this: “the doctor breached the standard of care.” All it takes is one breach, but some cases involve several failures.
Proving this is where it gets pricey. It requires experts to describe the rule and how it got broken. We pay them not to “buy” testimony, but to compensate for the time and expertise they put into your case to prove you’ve been wronged. Sometimes we need more than one.
Breaking the safety rule caused injury or death
Again, we rely on experts to show the harm resulted from provider carelessness. In legalese, we call this “proximate cause.” I tell juries to think of this term as “approximate cause,” because breaking the safety rule doesn’t have to directly cause the harm. It just has to contribute to it.
The amount of harm to justify compensation
Medical malpractice victims can be compensated for the same losses as any other injury victim or family who suffers wrongful death. Sometimes this requires more experts, like an economist to prove lost wages, or another doctor to testify about future medical care. Spouses of medical error victims also have a claim for the damage done to their marriage.
Don’t Give Up
For medical malpractice victims, these cases aren’t easy. But they can very well be worth it. To win, you'll need an attorney, so be aware of the right reasons to hire one. At worst, you might get answers to give you peace of mind, a priceless benefit. If you’re seeking answers from a medical mistake or think one got committed against you or someone you love, email us to start a talk about your options.