How Do I Know if I Have a Strong Case for a Medical Negligence Lawsuit?

Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is a complex legal concept that can be difficult for patients and their families to understand. It involves more than just an unexpected or unsatisfactory result following medical care.

In medical malpractice lawsuits, the claim refers to a situation where a medical provider's actions fell below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community, and this failure directly resulted in the victim suffering harm. In a medical malpractice case, the harm may have been preventable had the medical provider acted in accordance with the standard of care they owed the patient.

The best way to understand if you have a strong case for a medical negligence lawsuit is to consult with an attorney and examine the four elements of negligence that will need to be proved.

  1. Duty of Care
  2. Breach in Duty of Care
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

A medical malpractice claim can be filed after various scenarios, ranging from surgical errors, incorrect medication dosage, and misdiagnosis to failure to provide timely treatment and much more.

Each case is unique, with its own set of facts, legal implications, and potential outcomes, and understanding whether you have been a victim of medical negligence without the representation of a skilled attorney can be an overwhelming process.

Navigating the intricacies of medical malpractice cases, investigating what happened, and dealing with the legal aspect of a lawsuit will usually require a dedicated attorney. Medical malpractice attorneys not only understand the legal aspects of your case, but they also have the experience and commitment to fight for your rights and guide you every step of the way.

Peter Angelos Law - Medical Malpractice Attorneys With A Long History of Success

Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have committed much of our professional time over the past 50 years to fighting medical negligence cases for clients. Our team has a wealth of experience and is comprised of dedicated attorneys who have all won favorable outcomes in various medical malpractice cases.

We know how difficult this period can be, and we aim to provide our clients with the highest standard of legal representation. It starts with a free consultation and case evaluation. If we think your case is strong, we will take it on a contingency fee basis, allowing us to work for no up-front fees and only taking fees from your case if, and only if, we can win your case. If we cannot secure you a settlement, or we lose in court, we will not charge a penny.

Four Elements of Negligence

For your attorney to prove medical malpractice happened, they will need to prove the four elements of negligence. During your initial consultation and case evaluation, the questions they ask will be designed to help them determine whether they will be able to do so.

Usually, if you can prove all four elements and evidence your claims, you will have a strong case.

Those elements are:

Duty of Care

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the first element that needs to be established is the 'duty of care.' A duty of care is a legal obligation for medical providers to provide a certain standard of medical care by practicing medicine in a manner that aligns with the standard medical practices of their field. If they fail to do so, then they may have breached this duty.

All medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients whilst they are under their care. Usually, to prove the duty of care, medical records will be used to demonstrate the existence of this relationship and the corresponding duty of care.

Breach in Duty of Care

The next element to prove in a medical malpractice suit is that a 'breach' in the duty of care occurred. For a breach in the duty of care, a medical provider must have deviated from the recognized standard of care in their field. This can be through an act, an omission of an act, or through a failure to provide the due care and attention a patient deserves.

Examples of what could constitute a breach of the duty of care include medical errors such as incorrect diagnoses, surgical mistakes, or anesthesia errors.

It is important to remember that medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider acts negligently. It is not simply enough for a patient to be unhappy with their treatment or results. You must be able to prove that the medical provider's actions or omissions were not in line with what a competent medical provider would have done under similar circumstances.

Causation

Causation, the third element in personal injury claims and medical malpractice cases, is often the most challenging to prove. It is not simply enough to show that a medical error has happened; you must be able to prove that the error directly caused the injuries that you are claiming and that these injuries would not have occurred had the medical provider acted in a reasonable manner.

Usually, your attorney must bring in medical experts to provide an expert testimonial that demonstrates the link between the breach of the duty of care and the injuries suffered. This is one of the reasons why seeking legal representation from a well-established law firm is crucial, as they will have access to a panel of medical experts who they can bring in to perform this critical task.

Damages

Lastly, for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove your 'damages.' This means you will need to prove you incurred damages due to the medical provider's negligence.

Damages can be for physical suffering, such as your pain and injuries, emotional trauma, for the distress you have been through, or financial, such as for the recovery of your medical bills and time you have taken off work.

Calculating your damages is one of the most important tasks your medical malpractice attorneys will need to carry out, as it provides a financial figure that you are pursuing in your case. This figure should cover all of your economic damages, which are the damages that have cost you physical money and should compensate you for your non-economic damages, which are the less tangible damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Damages You May Be Able To Recover Compensation For

The most common damages that your attorney may consider in their calculations include:

Medical Bills and Expenses

When you have suffered actual harm at the hands of a negligent medical provider, you should not have to pay for your medical treatment. You should also be able to recover all of the medical expenses you have accrued so far.

Your attorney will look at medical records and your bills and invoices and will be able to calculate a sum that allows you to recover your losses. They will then examine the scope of your injuries, usually with a medical expert, in order to assess what your long-term treatment may cost you.

This will allow them to pursue a sum that allows you to seek the best possible medical care in the future, and that you are not left out of pocket.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

The likelihood is that if you have suffered a medical malpractice injury, you will have had to take time off work to receive treatment and recover from what has happened. In these cases, many victims end up with lost wages. In a successful case, these are usually recovered by your attorney on your behalf.

If your injuries are severe, there is a chance that you may not be able to return to work for a long time, if at all, and in these situations, your attorney may need to speak to financial experts. This will allow them to judge what you should be compensated for your loss of earning capacity in the long run.

Why It Is Important to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney for Your Case

When it comes to handling a medical negligence lawsuit, it can be an extremely daunting task for anyone without a legal background. It's not just about understanding the law by yourself, you will be responsible for negotiating with insurance companies, collecting and preserving evidence, and presenting a compelling case in court if necessary. If you have suffered serious and mental trauma, the stress alone may be enough to exacerbate your injuries.

This is why seeking representation from a lawyer dedicated to medical negligence becomes invaluable.

A medical negligence attorney plays several important roles on behalf of their client. They will evaluate the strength of your case, including carrying out a thorough examination of your medical records, consultation with medical experts, and a comprehensive understanding of your situation's medical and legal context.

They will also determine whether the four elements of negligence are present in your case and can be proven. This gives a good indication of the strength of your case.

A medical negligence lawyer will also be your advocate, representing you in negotiations with the opposing party or their insurance company. These negotiations can be fierce, and having an experienced lawyer on your side ensures that you are treated seriously by the other party.

Insurance companies that defend medical clients are highly-trained and highly capable. They defend clients every day against claims like yours, and they have the knowledge to quantify your claim appropriately. This does not mean that they will offer a fair settlement without a fight, however. Approaching the negotiation table with an attorney that has a fierce reputation for winning cases can increase your chances of a smooth settlement that is fair and reasonable.

Sometimes, the other party is not willing to play ball, and you may not be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement. In this situation, your lawyer will guide you through the process of filing your lawsuit. This includes the discovery stage, trial preparation, and the trial itself. They can help you understand what to expect at each stage and prepare you accordingly.

Important Things to Look For in a Medical Malpractice Attorney

When choosing a medical negligence attorney, you should ask them about their experience, specialization, and track record in securing favorable outcomes in medical negligence cases similar to yours.

It is also vital that you choose someone who communicates clearly and is responsive to your questions and concerns. Client reviews and testimonials can also provide valuable insights, and you may want to check out your potential attorney on independent sites, such as AVVO, that rate attorneys independently based on a range of criteria.

Contact Peter Angelos Law Today

Navigating a medical negligence lawsuit can be an overwhelming experience, but you don't have to do it alone. At Peter Angelos Law, we specialize in this field, and our experienced team is ready to fight for your rights and ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you believe you have a strong case for a medical negligence lawsuit, we encourage you to take the next step. Don't let the complexities of the law deter you from seeking the justice you deserve. Contact Peter Angelos Law today.

Our dedicated and experienced team is ready to guide you through every step of the process, providing the support and expertise you need. Remember, you have rights, and we're here to help you uphold them.

Contact us today at 410-705-2405.