Are Medical Malpractice Cases Hard to Win?

March 22, 2023
Are Medical Malpractice Cases Hard to Win?

If you are a victim of medical negligence, you will likely feel misled, furious, and upset. When you visit the hospital to improve your or a loved one's health, you expect to heal, but this is not always the case. If you visit any hospital and the physician makes a medical mistake due to negligence, often referred to as medical malpractice, the law provides you with a legal platform for compensation. But how hard is it to win medical malpractice case?

A medical malpractice lawsuit won't reverse the harm caused when a doctor fails to diagnose your or provide you with the appropriate treatment. But it can give you compensation to better manage your condition.

Winning a medical malpractice case requires the knowledge of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. If you believe you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, consult a legal advisor to learn your options for pursuing compensation. If a medical procedure does not go well, it does not always mean that the medical professional was negligent. Working with an attorney can help you determine if your situation constitutes medical malpractice.

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

Are Medical Malpractice Cases Hard to Win

Medical negligence happens when medical professionals make a medical mistake due to a failure to perform or fulfill their medical responsibilities. These mistakes result in patient damages, which vary depending on their short- or long-term consequences. They include bodily harm, psychological distress, or death.

Physicians must adhere to specific care standards for their patients. Courts will turn to medical experts who give comparable services to assess the appropriate standard of care. Most medical malpractice claims require a medical professional's negligence during patient treatment.

There are different forms of medical malpractice. For instance, you may believe that a doctor committed an error during your treatment, such as making a mistake during surgery or prescribing the incorrect drug. Diagnostic mistakes can also result in medical malpractice. A negligent physician who fails to diagnose, misdiagnoses, or merely delays a diagnosis may be liable for your injuries, and you can file a lawsuit for compensation.

Several of the most prevalent forms of medical negligence underlying a medical malpractice claim include:

  • Medical product liability
  • Dental malpractice
  • Medical device errors
  • Failure to treat patients
  • Unethical and neglectful procedures
  • Doctors who practice non-standard medical procedures
  • Failure to provide medical follow-up care
  • Failure to hire competent medical workers
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Birth injuries malpractice

If you experience any damage due to one of the errors above, you may be eligible to bring a medical malpractice suit against your healthcare provider.

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Do Medical Malpractice Lawsuits have a Deadline?

Yes. The statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Chicago and within the state of Illinois is two years from the date the patient receives notice of the medical error or has enough evidence to discover an error took place. It may be hard to identify just when medical malpractice occurs. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can review your case to determine your deadline to file a claim.

The statute of limitations requires you to pursue your legal remedies promptly. If you do not submit your medical malpractice claim within the timeframe to do so, the statute prevents you from making your claim, regardless of its validity. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, so it is wise to consult a medical malpractice lawyer immediately following your injury to begin your medical malpractice claim.

Keep in mind that medical malpractice statutes of limitations are sometimes shorter than those for other forms of personal injury claims. Even if you do not intend to file a lawsuit, consult a personal injury attorney to determine if you should take action and assess your timeline to decide.

How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice?

To win a medical malpractice case, you will need to prove negligence on behalf of a medical professional, which can be challenging. This process entails expert witness testimony on what the defendant should have done under relevant professional medical standards. Additionally, some medical providers may structure their organization to shield those who committed the malpractice from liability.

Fortunately, medical malpractice lawyers understand the challenge of proving medical negligence. Suppose a medical operation injures you, and while you don't know what caused the damage, it is an injury that would not have happened without the negligence of your medical provider. You can assess the legal implications of the situation and demonstrate that, but for the physician's negligence, the injury would not have happened.

Medical malpractice claims are complex and require consultation between you and your attorney. You can have a free consultation before hiring a medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim and if your attorney-client relationship is a good fit for each of you. A medical malpractice attorney can answer your questions and alleviate your concerns.

Additionally, if you have a case, an experienced medical malpractice attorney may advise you on the subsequent actions and how to proceed. You must prove these essential elements in each medical malpractice lawsuit.

They include:

  • The patient was under the defendant's care.
  • There was a doctor-patient relationship.
  • The defendant failed to adhere to the standard level of care.
  • The defendant's deviation caused the patient's injuries.
  • The patient suffered damage, such as financial, physical, and emotional.

The medical malpractice statutes mandate that you speak with a competent healthcare provider before filing your claim since a medical expert can determine and vouch for the lawsuit's credibility. However, you can skip this step if you do not have enough time to meet the statute of limitations.

Who Can I Sue for Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence is a legal notion that applies to medical professionals and nurses, anesthesiologists, healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical corporations, and anyone who offers healthcare services. The primary goal of a medical malpractice lawsuit is to establish negligence that results in personal damages. Other issues, such as parental culpability or contributory negligence, can increase the liable parties in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Hospitals are public or private enterprises. You may sue the hospitals for direct accountability in medical malpractice claims and vicarious liability for their employee's negligent conduct. Vicarious responsibility occurs when the legal system holds one person responsible for another's negligence, looking to a chain of responsibility.

A pharmaceutical company may be liable for a lawsuit if its medicine causes your injuries, but only if the company fails to notify doctors about the drug's possible adverse effects or hazards. Pharmaceutical manufacturers will not be liable for your damages if they sufficiently inform your physician of all potential risks connected with a specific medicine.

A pharmaceutical business bears no obligation to you other than guaranteeing that the drug it makes is relatively safe. To ensure a drug's safety, the manufacturer must research the drug's potential side effects and risks before commercialization. If a pharmaceutical manufacturer fails to warn a physician of a medicine's hazards appropriately and the drug is unreasonably risky, you can hold them liable for failing to give sufficient warning.

How Can I Begin a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Contact your doctor or another medical practitioner before you file a claim for medical malpractice. Your objective is to understand what may have gone wrong. Medical providers will work to remedy the mistake in most circumstances, often for free.

If the medical practitioner does not resolve the matter, your medical malpractice lawyer can contact the medical licensing board. While licensing boards cannot typically compel professionals to reimburse you, they may issue warnings or reprimand practitioners and advise you on your future actions.

Before filing a medical malpractice claim, know your state's statute of limitations period. In addition, obtain a certificate of merit to establish that the injuries you sustained resulted from a healthcare professional's negligence. Medical malpractice claims may be time-consuming and expensive. They often settle out of court.

You cannot easily put your issues aside and concentrate only on the legal elements of your predicament. You may never get an apology or acknowledgment from the medical practitioner, regardless of whether you win a medical malpractice suit in court.

Defenses for Medical Malpractice

The physicians in whom you place your faith should not inflict damage or exacerbate your pre-existing injuries or diseases, and if they do, hold them responsible for their actions. The law doesn't penalize physicians for any damage they did not cause. While these concepts seem straightforward, they become complex quickly. There are several medical malpractice defenses available to medical providers, which include:

Standard Negligence Defenses

Since medical malpractice is a type of negligence, many of the available defenses to general negligence apply to medical malpractice. Some doctors claim that their treatment complied with medical standards or that negligence didn't cause the injuries. A primary defense to a medical malpractice claim shows that the defendant was not negligent.

Contributory Negligence

Sometimes, medical experts may not be solely responsible for the injury. If a medical practitioner demonstrates that the harm would not have happened, but for your negligence, the medical professional may have a viable defense against your malpractice claim. For instance, if you disregard the doctor's instructions or fail to divulge critical aspects of your medical history, the doctor may not be liable for your damages, and the court can dismiss your case.

Respectable Minority Principle

Occasionally, medical experts may choose an experimental or more extreme course of therapy to treat you. The doctor may have a legitimate defense against a medical malpractice lawsuit if a respectable minority of medical experts endorses this course of treatment.

Good Samaritan Legislation

Good Samaritan legislations protect individuals who rescue patients in emergencies. Such regulations often cover physicians, nurses, and other medical workers. If a physician assists someone in an emergency circumstance outside the medical care sphere, the physician is likely immune from civil liability if anything goes wrong during the rescue. However, a medical practitioner who assists someone voluntarily owes that person the same duty of care and treatment that a reasonably competent physician would under the same or comparable circumstances.

Statute of Limitations

State rules impose time constraints on when you can initiate a medical malpractice case. If the medical practitioner demonstrates that you found the damage at a specific time and the statute of limitations passed, the court will likely dismiss your case.

Why Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

If you or someone you care about is a victim of medical misconduct, exercise your legal options to protect your right to recovery. Taking on a legal challenge is overwhelming when you deal with the emotional disruption from another's wrongdoing. Medical malpractice cases are complex and time-consuming. You may greatly improve your chances of winning a medical malpractice case and recovering the compensation you deserve if you hire a qualified medical malpractice lawyer.

Is It Challenging to Win a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Yes. Medical malpractice claims are challenging cases that often result in a positive ruling for the medical practitioner. The legal system is less likely to punish medical practitioners for negligence. They may escape accountability from law enforcement, the judicial system, medical organizations, and even their employment.

However, if you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact a good medical malpractice attorney to determine the strength of your case. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a viable claim. If you do have a claim, your attorney will assist you with your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Damages Will Be Available if I Win a Medical Malpractice Case?

In a medical malpractice claim, you may receive economic damages to compensate for tangible losses. This compensation includes your expenses for medication, hospital stays, and physical therapy. You may also receive non-economic damages for pain and suffering and mental distress.

Although the compensation from medical malpractice lawsuits varies according to the type of harm or injury, the extent of the damage, and other factors, the total compensation typically covers immediate and future medical costs. The monetary compensation also covers the care necessary to maintain your quality of life. In general, medical malpractice damages are not taxable in most states. Contact our medical malpractice attorney for further consultation if you have more questions.