Every day, millions of people put their lives in the hands of trusted medical professionals. And every day, in operating rooms, doctors offices, and emergency rooms across the country, something goes horribly wrong. In fact, Forbes magazine reported that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence that has resulted in injury, disability, or death, you are likely wondering where you can turn.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional commits a negligent act or omits an important step in patient care that results in injury to the patient. However, in order to be considered malpractice by law, the act must:
- Be a violation of the standard of care
- Result in an injury
- Result in significant damages
There are certain medical standards that are recognized by the profession as acceptable medical treatment by health care professionals under certain circumstances. Patients have the right to expect that health care professionals will adhere to these standards. However, deviating from the standard of care is not enough to establish negligence. It must result in an injury that causes significant damage to the patient. Since medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive to litigate, the cost of pursuing a case may outpace the eventual recovery without this important factor.
What are my options?
In many cases when patients are the victims of medical negligence, malpractice insurance companies want to settle with the person directly. This not only allows them to settle before the full extent of injuries are known, but it also limits the patient’s course of action. If you accept a settlement, the case is closed. If you do not accept a settlement and instead hire an attorney, you are more likely to receive an increase in the settlement value.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Experiencing a bad medical outcome is not always proof of negligence. However, if a health care provider’s negligence resulted in loss of income, disability, pain, suffering, or death, it is important to discuss the case with a lawyer prior to accepting any kind of settlement from the insurance company. Bradley MacFee Sr. has been serving the Baltimore area for more than 15 years. Versed in all aspects of medical malpractice, Mr. MacFee can look at your medical records, injury documentation, and advise you on how to proceed. Even if you do not move forward with litigation, Mr. MacFee can ensure you get the most from your insurance settlement. If you have been injured in the last five years due to a medical professional’s negligence, contact Bradley MacFee Sr. for a consultation.