8 Things To Expect During A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Medical professionals, like the rest of us, sometimes make mistakes. At times, they fail to adhere to specific professional and ethical standards of care, resulting in significant injury to patients. Medical malpractice could be surgical errors, misdiagnosis, incorrect medication, birth injuries, and others. Did you know that medical malpractice and mistakes account for ten percent of deaths in the US? This translates to around 250,000 to 440,000 American deaths every year. However, not all victims of medical malpractice seek legal action, even those with legitimate claims.

Try asking someone, ‘how long does a medical malpractice lawsuit take in San Diego?’ or ‘how long does a medical practice lawsuit take in most US states?’ Their response will shed insight into why many wrongfully injured patients chose not to pursue their claims. This article will go over eight things to expect when pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

1. Proving negligence is difficult

Negligence occurs only if physicians or medical facilities fail to meet the universal standard of care or breach their duty to their patients. However, proving that in court is difficult. A doctor might easily justify patient injury as an unavoidable side effect of treatment. Additionally, the preconceived notion that a patient may still sustain an injury despite receiving the best medical care favors the defendant.

2. Medical malpractice lawsuits are lengthy

Medical malpractice lawsuits are generally longer than a typical personal injury case. Acquiring evidence and other inputs from medical professionals, such as testimonies, can be time-consuming. Also, some injuries only appear later, making it critical to decide at that point whether to pursue a medical negligence action.

3. Medical malpractice claims are costly

Since the process is lengthy, keeping up with the hefty litigation cost is almost inevitable. They can also be deemed pricey by most insurance companies. Hence, the plaintiff opts for alternative settlements outside the court to avoid additional costs like docket fees, filing fees, and attorneys fees.

4. Plaintiff bears the burden of proof

Despite being at the receiving end of the lawsuit, the defendants — usually the doctors or the hospital — are not responsible for proving that they complied with the universal standard of care required in the circumstance. 

Unfortunately, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff — the patient who suffered and is now suing for malpractice. They are obligated to provide adequate evidence to establish the defendants’ breach in the standard care, the nature of the breach, how the breach resulted in injury. For the malpractice case to prosper, the plaintiff must also prove that the defendant is required to be diligent.

5. Have a feeling you’re to blame for the medical malpractice

In some cases, patients or the plaintiffs find themselves in a state of self-confusion. They sometimes question if the medical error is the doctors’ fault or if they caused them. This is far from true. Medical professionals make the decisions, not patients. Hence, the latter is never to blame in cases of medical malpractice.

6. Slim chances of winning

Around 20,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are being filed in the US each year. Yet, the chances of winning the lawsuit in court are pretty slim. Other than the cost and the time for the case to progress, some patients grew afraid that healthcare providers would refuse treatment if they found out they were once behind a medical malpractice lawsuit.

7. Most cases end in settlement

Given the process’s complexity, duration, and expense, most plaintiffs choose not to pursue the case and accept the offered settlement instead. Outside of court, settlements are more favorable to the defendants because, as much as possible, they avoid tarnishing their professional reputations by their malpractice out to the public. Both parties usually agree that settlement is their wisest course of action.

8. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney

Despite the slim chances of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit, the odds could quickly go high if handled by a top and experienced medical malpractice attorney. At times, settlements are the best course of action. But, medical professionals and facilities have violated the ethical standard of care, and their responsibilities must be held accountable.

Much so in the cases of permanent impairment, loss of companionship, and ongoing pain and suffering because of medical negligence, the right to justice and compensation is of utmost importance.

The Takeaway

Don’t go to a malpractice battle by yourself. Get yourself a reputable and reliable medical malpractice lawyer and see the law work in your favor.