Medical malpractice or medical negligence occurs when a health care provider provides substandard care to a patient, causing injury or death. This term can be used for situations in which the medical provider failed to act in the best interest of the patient, or situations in which the medical provider did not take proper action or make an accurate diagnosis while caring for the patient. The term broadly covers care provided by any licensed health care provider, and each state has its own rules about how such lawsuits are handled in the courts.
There are some states that are notoriously precarious territory for medical malpractice cases. Here, they are expensive to handle and difficult to win. If you live in these states and want to bring this type of claim against a health care professional, covering all your bases on the front-end will help significantly in the success of your case; however, you should be aware that there are limits placed by the state on the amount of money you can recoup and the rights you have to sue.
To begin a medical malpractice suit, you will have to attain an affidavit from an expert witness who is willing to confirm, on record, that the doctor indeed committed medical malpractice. Attaining such a document is almost always time consuming and expensive, as experts will generally charge for reviewing your records and giving their sworn statement that your situation falls under the umbrella of “medical malpractice.”
You should also be aware that once you file a claim, the defendant is very likely to defend the case aggressively. Medical malpractice lawsuits that have been won by the prosecution cause a serious hit to a health care provider’s reputation and insurance costs; you can be assured that they will not lose easily and will spend a lot of time, effort and money on their defense. This means that you will need strong legal representation on your side–particularly representation that has experience in handling this type of claims within the state.
Finally, to have a clear shot at being successful, your lawsuit will need to involve a clear breach in the standard of care. In most cases, successful lawsuits in some states have been won because there was unmistakable and undeniable wrongdoing on the doctor’s part, resulting in substantial loss such as death or large medical bills. If the medical bills that resulted from the malpractice are not over $100,000, or death did not occur, your chances of prevailing are significantly reduced.