When seeking medical attention, the last thing on most patient's minds is medical errors. However, medical errors are far more common than many realize. Medical errors claim 251,000 lives a year, making them the third leading cause of death in the US. In cases where a patient is injured or dies due to negligence from a healthcare professional or medical facility, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be necessary. Here are three things to consider about medical malpractice lawsuits:
There Are Statute Of Limitations
The first thing to be aware of is that there is a time limit for these types of cases. There are laws in place, referred to as a statute of limitations, which limit the amount of time within which a lawsuit can be filed. If the time period has passed, any lawsuit that is filed will be thrown out. It's also important to be aware that the time period starts whenever the patient discovers that there is something wrong with the care they have received, not necessarily when the care itself was received. This is often referred to as the discovery period. The statute of limitations varies from state to state but is often somewhere between 1 and 5 years.
There Are Requirements For The Claim
While medical errors are a major problem, not all of them meet the requirements for a medical malpractice lawsuit. For a medical malpractice lawsuit to be successful, some basic requirements need to be met. There needs to be proof that the patient had a relationship with the facility or medical professional that they are suing. It's also necessary to show that the medical professional or facility was negligent and that the negligence led to injury or death. Some common reasons to sue for medical malpractice include failing to warn the patient of certain risks, not diagnosing the patient and improper treatment.
A Lawyer Can Help
For those who are unsure if their situation calls for a lawsuit, a medical malpractice lawyer's services can help. A lawyer will help determine whether or not their client's situation is medical malpractice. Most medical malpractice lawyers work on contingency, which means they get a portion of the settlement or the damages awarded. On average the contingency fee is around 33 percent but is often a little higher if the case goes to court and is not settled.
For those who have had their lives changed due to a mistake made by a medical professional or a medical facility, a medical malpractice lawsuit can help. However, it's important to note that these lawsuits do have a statute of limitations. There are also certain requirements that may need to be met to ensure that the patient has a valid claim. A medical malpractice lawyer can help sort through the details and determine if a lawsuit is necessary.
Check out a website like http://www.medilaw.com/ for more information and assistance.