Whether you were misdiagnosed by a doctor, prescribed a wrong medication, or were provided with a poor standard of overall medical care, you make the decision to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Because you have all of the evidence you think that you need such as medical records and witness statements, you anticipate a short process where everything will transpire according to your plan. The truth is, medical malpractice can be a complex and complicated process and there are many issues that you may face as you go through the litigation process.
1. An unwilling attorney
There are many attorneys available and many will tell you that they can assist you in getting compensation for you in your medical malpractice lawsuit. However, some will not after reviewing the circumstances of your case and you may have to meet with a few attorneys before one will take your case. Some attorneys may not take your case because anticipated compensation is less than the cost of time and resources to take your case on.
Most medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they do not charge any fees until the case is settled and if the ruling is not in your favour, their fees may be reduced or they are not paid for their services at all. Experienced malpractice attorneys can usually estimate the expenses that would be needed to prove a malpractice case and if they outweigh the quantified compensation expected or close to it, they will not pursue the case.
2. Valid excuses for alleged violations
Obviously medical malpractice is wrong and those guilty of it should be held accountable for their actions. However, in rare occurrences, what is considered malpractice can be successfully justified by a defendant and this could jeopardize you receiving compensation in your lawsuit.
Sometimes in an emergency, doctors need to make snap decisions and bad outcomes are not necessarily the result of negligence or a poor standard of care. Doctors have a broad range of treatment options at their disposal when treating a patient. It is often easy in hindsight to say that a doctor was erroneous in his course of action. In these instances a doctor will often be found not liable in a medical malpractice case. Many malpractice cases are rejected because it is determined that the doctor was not unreasonable in making a decision and you need to be prepared for this.
3. Unfair settlement offers
Defendants and their respective insurance companies are notorious for refusing to make offers to settle or if they do they are often low and do not meet a plaintiff’s needs. These parties may also try to coerce you into accepting a low offer, leaving you unable to cover the costs of the damages that you sustained. Because this is your first time enduring the malpractice litigation process, you are probably unsure of what would constitute a fair offer in the first place.
To guarantee your best interested are represented and that you receive a fair offer, it is beneficial to hire a medical malpractice lawyer experienced in these cases. The attorney will be privy to the monetary value you need to cover all of your expenses, can review all offers by defendants or insurance companies, and either accept, reject, or counter-offer on your behalf.
4. Aggressive questioning
If a settlement cannot be reached or the accusation of malpractice is challenged, the case will often go to court to be decided by a judge or jury. If this occurs, be prepared to endure a line of question that is aggressive by the defence attorney. The main objective of this is to try and make you say something incriminating or that could be used to the defence’ advantage. Although easier said than done, try to keep your composure and reiterate the facts of your case. After all, the truth usually comes out and if medical malpractice was committed as you contend, the ruling will be in your favour.