MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical malpractice and other types of malpractice cases are some of the most complex and difficult actions undertaken by attorneys. They are also typically very expensive to litigate, costing normally $25,000.00 to $100,000.00. Favorable verdicts in these cases are the exception rather than the norm.

As a result, most firms which handle such matters are very cautious about the ones they take to trial. Obviously, it is important to evaluate these cases realistically and practically. That’s what we do.

If you think that you or someone you know has a potential claim, we would be glad to speak with you free of charge for an initial consultation. If we decide to take a case, we operate on a contingent fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we win. If successful, we receive a percentage of the gross recovery.

Malpractice is really a form of negligence. One element of negligence is damages or “harm”. It is possible that some professional has been negligent, but that the harm has been minimal with little or no injury. In such a situation, we would probably decline representation because the amount of the recovery would not justify the time and expense of the litigation. On the other hand, sometimes the harm can be very great, even catastrophic, but perhaps there is a causation problem. A classic example would be a situation where the harm was unavoidable, such as a stroke victim who was going to die quickly no matter how good or bad the care was. Such a situation is unfortunate, but probably not actionable. However, every case has its own individual characteristics, so if you have doubts about the efficacy and standard of care received, it doesn’t hurt to talk with an attorney. You may have an excellent case and not even know it.

If you are going to see an attorney regarding evaluation of a possible claim, it is very helpful if you already have all of your medical records assembled. This will definitely speed up the process. You can get them from your doctor(s) and hospital, and there is usually a per page and even a minimum charge. No one can stop you from getting your medical records. If you run into any problems retrieving them, then definitely call an attorney.

If you have visible problems as a result of some medical procedure or medication then it is also helpful to take photographs and/or videotapes to preserve the evidence. Even the worst problems often heal and leave no permanent record of the terrible pain, etc. someone endured. In such cases, a picture is certainly “worth a thousand words”. It is common to even take photos and videotape right in the hospital room. When in doubt, do it.

Don’t hesitate to insist on a proper level of care for yourself and your loved ones. Some HMO’s and other medical management entities have been known to substitute “affordable” for what is “necessary” or “proper”. Unfortunately, sometimes the best care is reserved for those who are the most persistent and vocal.

If an insurance provider says that a procedure is not covered, etc., read over your policy carefully and have an attorney look at it too.

Above all else, if you feel that the current climate of health care reform is sacrificing patient care for the “bottom line”, and forcing good doctors to delay or forego procedures and tests which they feel are needed, then make your voice known locally, in Raleigh, and in Washington. Write your Congressman and Senators. Don’t settle for the status quo or second best. Your life or someone you love may depend on it.