Medical malpractice. They're the words that every doctor dreads hearing, and no patient wants to utter. Medical malpractice injuries may range from relatively minor mix-ups, to major medical complications as a result of doctor, surgeon or nursing-related errors.
As a patient, you trust your medical professionals to administer the proper treatment when you're sick or injured.
When those medical professionals let you down, you might be looking at a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Don't let doctors get away with medical malpractice over and over again. By pursuing a medical malpractice case against a health care professional, you can seek justice for yourself and protect other patients from the same medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a legal term that gets thrown around a lot, but most people don't know what it actually means. The textbook definition of medical malpractice is: "professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient."
What does this actually mean? Simply put, medical malpractice is when your health care provider doesn't provide you the care you should have received, and his or her negligence causes injury or death. This means that if your doctor fails to provide a medical treatment that he should have provided, given your circumstances, and your medical condition worsens as a result, you might have a medical malpractice case. Heard about those cases on the news where a doctor performs surgery and removes the wrong organ, or removes something from the wrong patient? That's medical malpractice, too. Realistically, the term "medical malpractice" covers a range of sins, which can include:
- Wrong diagnosis and resulting bad outcome;
- Wrong surgery site, or surgery on the wrong patient;
- Hospital staff negligence and nursing negligence, including anesthesia errors;
- Birth injuries;
- Surgery injuries, such as when a surgery is performed incorrectly or an error is made that results in injury, or when an instrument is left inside a patient's body;
- Medication errors, including administering the wrong dosage of medicine, wrong type of medicine and the incorrect method of administering the medication;
- Failure to diagnose, including stroke, heart attack, pneumonia, appendicitis and meningitis;
- Cancer diagnosis issues;
- Brain injury;
- Plastic surgery issues;
- Neurosurgery errors, including craniotomy errors, medical errors during tumor removal.
Essentially, when a health care professional makes a mistake that he or she should have known better than to make, and you're injured as a result, you might have a medical malpractice case.
Standard of Care in Mississippi Medical Malpractice Cases
"Standard of care" is a phrase you'll hear thrown around a lot when it comes to medical malpractice cases. What does this phrase actually mean, and how does it relate to your Jackson medical malpractice case?
Not everything that goes wrong with a medical treatment or procedure is a result of medical malpractice. For example, if you contract a rare disease, and your symptoms mimic another, more common disease, your health care providers may not be at fault for failing to catch it. On the other hand, if you contract a common disease, your provider fails to treat it properly, and you suffer medical complications or injuries as a result, that's probably medical malpractice.
The main difference between these cases is the "standard of care."
Essentially, if a doctor makes a mistake or fails to treat or diagnose something that should be self-evident, that's the doctor's fault. A failure to comply with these 'self-evident' medical practices, such as reading a chart correctly to administer the proper medication, or verifying the identity of a surgical patient before operating, is one of the biggest elements of a medical malpractice case.
If your health care professional violates this standard of care, you probably have a medical malpractice case on your hands. If your doctor conforms to a reasonable standard of care, however, and you're still injured further or unsuccessfully treated, it's probably not the doctor's fault, and therefore not a medical malpractice case.
How Standard of Care is Determined
Judges and juries typically aren't health care professionals, so it may not be obvious what a reasonable standard of care for a given medical situation actually entails. To establish the standard of care, and whether your particular case involves a violation of this standard of care, you need to consult a medical expert. Another medical professional can probably tell you pretty quickly whether or not your case involves a breach of standard of care. If it does, you'll need to prove this as the basis for your case.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Case
There are some personal injury cases where clients decide to represent themselves. While that's generally not a great idea, it's true that you don't always need a lawyer. For example, if you're involved in only a small fender-bender with just a little damage, and the other guy or the insurance company agrees to pay, you probably don't need a lawyer. But medical malpractice cases are one example of when you definitely need a lawyer. Medical malpractice is a highly specialized field of practice, and few attorneys continue to handle med mal cases.
We handle all of our medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis, which basically means that we front all of the expenses on your case, and if a recovery or settlement is made, we take a percentage of the gross recovery and recoup our expenses. You never come out of pocket a single dime! If it turns out that you don't have a case, you don't owe us anything!
A good medical malpractice attorney is integral to successfully pursuing your medical malpractice case. First, you must establish that the health care professional owed you a duty of care, and breached it. Second, you must establish that this breach was in violation of the typical standard of care. Third, you must establish and injury, and finally, you must have damages or have been damaged as a result of this incident.
All of this may sound relatively simple, but it's not. Documenting each step of this process thoroughly enough for a court case requires expertise that the average patient simply doesn't possess. In a medical malpractice case, medical expert testimony is required. To successfully litigate a medical malpractice case, you must find an expert, file various motions, present your case at hearings, and complete a number of steps through the course of the normal judicial process. Needless to say, there are many hoops that you have to jump through in order for your med mal case to survive.
Most victims of a medical malpractice case find that they'd rather focus their energies on recovering from their injuries. The medical complications of medical malpractice cases can take weeks, months or years to overcome. The last thing you need is a long, drawn-out court case hampering your recovery from your injuries.
Leave your medical malpractice case in the hands of us, and let Jared A. Kobs and Benjamin N. Philley successfully litigate your medical malpractice case. Not sure whether or not you have a case? Call Kobs & Philley, PLLC for a free medical malpractice consultation. Take advantage of our NO OBLIGATION, FREE CONSULTATION. Ask us questions. We will provide straight answers and explain what we can do for you and how we can help you during this stressful time. You can contact us online or call us today at 601-856-7800 or 1-877-856-0330 for a FREE CONSULTATION.
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