NO law firm in Oklahoma has won more medical cases at trial than Clark & Mitchell.
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Medical Negligence: What does a Malpractice Case Involve?
Medical malpractice occurs when the actions of a medical professional causes the patient harm. It is often described as “proving treatment that is out of the norm with common practices.” Malpractice applies to all medical professionals including, doctors, nurses, CNA’s, orderlies, technicians, and other hospital staff.
Malpractice may even apply to hospital or clinic administrators who make decisions that affect the treatment of the patients.
When you have been injured by a medical professional it is important to seek legal representation from OKC medical malpractice attorneys. Having an attorney protecting your right to receive corrective treatment and compensation for your losses will always be in your best benefit.
If you are filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, your case will follow a very specific guideline. Understanding these steps will allow you to proceed through this difficult time with more confidence.
Filing A Malpractice Suit
If you or your loved one has been injured in a malpractice event, the first thing that you must do after seeking medical care for your injuries is contact medical malpractice attorneys about the case, to file a medical malpractice claim.
The injured party or a legal representative can file the complaint against the medical practitioner. Your attorney will listen to what has occurred and determine if you have the right to seek compensation under malpractice guidelines.
If a patient dies due to the malpractice event, your attorney may recommend that you seek out a wrongful death case instead of, or in addition to, your malpractice case. This will all be determined on the facts surrounding your case.
Determining If It Is Malpractice
Your attorney will look at all of the facts surrounding the case and determine if malpractice has occurred.
It must be understood that malpractice only occurs when a medical practitioner did something out of the norm that has led to harming the patient. It is not malpractice if the treatment you received did not produce the results that you desired.
Malpractice is usually categorized into the following conditions:
• Failure to accurately diagnose or treat a condition
• Over treating a condition leading to harm
• Failure to use standard medical treatments for specific condition
• Prescribing the wrong medications or wrong dosage
• Surgical Errors
• Post-operative infections (some)
Other types of injuries do occur and may apply to malpractice. Your attorney can determine if your injury falls under this guideline.
Filing a Complaint
Once it has been established that malpractice occurred, your OKC Medical malpractice attorneys will create a Complaint.
This official document will be served to the Court and to the party being accused (Defendant) stating that malpractice has occurred and that you are seeking damages. Once served, the other party has a limited number of days to respond.
Once the case has been made official and the Defendant has been served, your attorney will begin the Discovery process.
This process entails collecting all the information related to the medical injury, acquiring all of your previous medical records for verifications, speaking with witnesses, interviewing all members of the lawsuit, and building a case. This is the longest part to any lawsuit.
Your attorney may schedule several meetings with you or request many different types of documents during this period. It is important that you meet these requests so that your case can proceed in a timely manner.
Continued Medical Care
During the Discovery period it is important that you continue with all of your medical care so that you can make a recovery from your injuries. Failing to attend doctor appointments or follow prescribed treatments could harm your case.
During this period of time the Defense may also ask you to be examined by their doctor for further verification. If your attorney approves, make sure that you attend this appointment or it will impact your case.
It is not unusual during the discovery period for the insurance company representing the Defendant to start making offers to settle the case.
It is very unusual for the first or even the first few offers to be an acceptable amount to cover the true losses by the injured party. Your attorney will review every offer and present them to you.
Your attorney will make a recommendation to accept or decline the offer based on what they believe is fair. At that point you make the decision. If you decline, your attorney will continue to work on the case.
The defense has up until the time the case goes to trial to come up with a full and fair settlement. If they do not, the case will go to trial.
Less than 10 percent of all malpractice cases go to trial. If it is necessary, your attorney will present a case to the Court and jury and aggressively represent your case.
When the trial is over the jury will have the final decision on the outcome and settlement amount. Insurance companies generally try to avoid this because going to trial is very expensive.
Important Things To Remember