Considering A Medical Malpractice Case? Challenges You'll Face
Doctors have a difficult job. It's not always easy to diagnose illnesses or find the right treatment, and sometimes they can do all the right things, and it still doesn't work. However, there are also times when doctors make serious mistakes – and a doctor's mistake or negligence can have severe consequences for your health. When a doctor's mistake has a serious negative impact on your health, it's natural to want restitution for your pain and suffering, as well as for any additional medical bills you incur because of the mistake. You have recourse, in the form of bringing a medical malpractice suit against your doctor. But malpractice suits aren't easy, and it's important to know what challenges you'll face as you decide whether or not to go forward. Take a look at some of the challenges of a medical malpractice suit.
In order to prove any kind of case in a court of law, you need evidence. And in the case of a medical malpractice suit, much of the available evidence will be documentation. But there is one problem – most of the documents will come from the doctor who was treating you. The doctor's notes in your medical record may be incomplete, or they may be self-serving, but they'll be difficult to refute if you don't have your own evidence to submit.
If you've been keeping your own notes about your treatment, you can submit those as evidence, but many patients don't think to keep notes about their treatments and conversations with their doctors until after it becomes obvious that a mistake has occurred. If you sought a second or third opinion from other medical professionals, their findings may be strong evidence, but in some situations, it can be hard even for another doctor to conclusively determine that your medical problems are the result of a doctor's malpractice. For example, even if second doctor you consult concludes that your heart condition should have been diagnosed before your heart attack, it can be tough to prove that the heart attack wouldn't have happened with an earlier diagnosis.
Another important thing to understand is that medical malpractice cases are tough to win, even when you do have solid evidence. Take a look at some statistics about medical malpractice cases. In one study of 10,000 medical malpractice claims, only about 55% resulted in a lawsuit. Of that 55%, over half were dismissed by the judge, and most of the rest ended up being decided out-of-court before a verdict. That left less than 5% of cases that went all the way to a verdict, and of that 5%, 80% of the cases were decided in the doctor's favor, not the patient's.
What does this mean? It means that even if your case is strong enough to go to trial and not get thrown out by a judge, if you take it all the way to a verdict, there's a good chance that you won't win. This may be because juries recognize the difficulty of a doctor's job, and they are hesitant to find against the doctor unless the malpractice is obvious and easily recognizable.
One more thing to consider is the length of time a medical malpractice suit can take. It's not a quick process. If you and the doctor's malpractice insurer can come to an agreement on a settlement, it can take a few months, but cases that go to trial can take years. This means that you can devote a significant chunk of your life to a medical malpractice case – and you may still come away empty handed.
None of this means that you should not file a medical malpractice suit if you think you've been injured by a doctor's negligence. It's just important to understand what you're up against. Because malpractice cases are so difficult, it's important to choose a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience with medical malpractice cases and a good track record of settlements and verdicts favorable to their clients. Make sure to ask attorneys that you're considering about their experience with malpractice cases and how they will handle the challenges of the case before you settle on an attorney. For more information, visit a site like http://medilaw.com.