You turn to doctors and other health care professionals for help. The last thing that you’d expect would be for them to hurt you. Yet, tragically, that’s what happens to thousands of Americans every year. Doctors and other health care professionals behave irresponsibly and make terrible mistakes.
And the consequences can be terrible. Patients are left disabled for life or in terrible pain. They lose job opportunities and entire careers. They find new medical bills mounting as they struggle to reclaim their health and their lives.
In situations like this, malpractice law can be in your corner. Here’s what you need to know.
What is malpractice?
Most doctors do their best. Most doctors take the Hippocratic oath — which outlines a doctor’s obligation to help patients and keep their confidences — very seriously. And most doctors hone their skills, practice carefully, and double-check their assumptions.
Similarly, most nurses practice care in their trade. Most hospitals are well run. Most of the people involved in the actual health care being administered by our sometimes unwieldy American health care system are both well-intentioned and talented.
This doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong. Medication can have unexpected results. All surgeries have risks. Good doctors can make mistakes. But this isn’t malpractice.
So what is malpractice? It’s the minority case. It’s the exception to the rule. It’s when someone or some group involved in the administration of your health care (or that of a loved one) does something careless, reckless, malicious, or otherwise negligent. Malpractice isn’t when things go wrong in medicine — it’s when people make things go wrong.
Malpractice is about justice. If you’re suffering from the consequences of a medical mistake, and if you’re spending more and more money on extra medical bills trying to recover, manage pain, or live with a new disability, then you deserve compensation. You shouldn’t have to pay for all this; it should be the person or entity whose negligence caused all of these consequences. That’s why we have tort law, which allows people to sue over torts — wrongful acts of just the sort that we’re talking about here.
Handling a medical malpractice incident
Malpractice law is a part of tort law. If you’ve been wronged by medical malpractice, you need to seek the help of an attorney who specializes in tort lawsuits. But not just any attorney will do, one expert Nashville medical malpractice lawyer explains. You need one who specializes in medical malpractice.
That’s because it’s not just the law that’s complicated here — the medicine is, too. Becoming a doctor takes a lot of time, effort, and money. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to remember. To make your case, your team needs to know it all: the medical background surrounding the incident, what should have been done, what actually was done, what went wrong, and who is liable. Of course, this isn’t stuff you’re going to know yourself, nor is it stuff that just any personal injury lawyer would know. You need a specialist in medical malpractice law who has experience in these sorts of cases and who has the expert witnesses you need on speed dial.
If you’re seeking help for a potential medical malpractice case, time is of the essence. Find a reputable lawyer near you and set up a consultation right away. Show up with all of the documentation you can find, including medical bills and doctor’s reports. Explain your situation, and listen to what the attorney has to say. If he or she takes your case, you’ll be off and running. Protect your rights, secure your future, and get the justice that you deserve.