Medical Malpractice Attorney in Abbeville and Vermilion Parish
Medical malpractice or negligence is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., as per the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In recent years, malpractice payouts are happening at the alarming rate, on average, of once every 43 minutes.
According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, Medical Malpractice occurs “when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.” In order for a case to successfully be classified as a medical malpractice case, the following criteria must exist:
- A violation of the standard of care – The law acknowledges that there are certain medical standards that are recognized by the profession as being acceptable medical treatment by reasonably prudent health care professionals under like or similar circumstances. This is known as the standard of care. A patient has the right to expect that health care professionals will deliver care that is consistent with these standards. If it is determined that the standard of care has not been met, then negligence may be established.
- An injury was caused by the negligence – For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it is not sufficient that a health care professional simply violated the standard of care. The patient must also prove he or she sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is no case.
- The injury resulted in significant damages – Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive to litigate, frequently requiring testimony of numerous medical experts and countless hours of deposition testimony. For a case to be viable, the patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills.
*Source: American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
When choosing an attorney to handle your medical malpractice case, consider that lawyer’s experience in handling these types of cases. Not every bad medical outcome is the result of medical malpractice. Seek an attorney who will be honest with you in evaluating your case.