Do I Need a Lawyer For a Medical Malpractice Case?

September 2, 2021 Posted In Uncategorized

Although it is possible to handle a medical malpractice case without a lawyer, it may not be worth the risk when there is so much at stake. Many medical malpractice cases involve a severe injury or illness that can be financially devastating if you don’t recover the compensation you need currently and in the future. 

The Complexity of Proving a Medical Malpractice Case

Even if liability seems straightforward, there are several elements that the plaintiff (victim) must prove in order to recover compensation. 

A Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed

This can be relatively easy to prove with medical records that show the defendant was your healthcare provider at the time the incident occurred. 

Breach of Duty 

To prove that negligence has occurred requires establishing the appropriate “medical standard of care” in your situation and how it was violated. In simpler terms, the doctor or other healthcare provider failed to treat you with the level of care expected of them. To do so, you will need testimony from a medical expert. 

Expert witnesses play a critical role in showing the jury how medical malpractice occurred. However, it can be hard to find an expert witness willing to take the stand and testify against a fellow doctor. Fortunately, experienced medical malpractice attorneys have professional connections to experts and know exactly who can be relied on. 

Causation

Proving causation can be incredibly complex in medical malpractice cases. Causation means you must establish that your injury or illness was “more likely than not” caused by the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) actions. Doing so can be especially challenging in cases where the injury or illness might ordinarily have been expected to occur, allowing the healthcare provider to argue that you are alleging failure to cure rather than malpractice. Because of the intricacy, proving causation will require a comprehensive understanding of your medical records. It will  also typically hinge on expert testimony to simplify the evidence and explain how the injury or illness would not have occurred if not for the doctor’s negligent conduct. 

Damages

You must also have suffered damages as a result of your harm, which can include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc. To determine how much to demand and the amount that you deserve, you must have a thorough understanding of the types of compensation available and how to accurately estimate your future losses. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will know how insurance companies work and a general idea of how much you are entitled to and the lowest amount you should accept. If necessary, they will hire a medical expert and/or forensic accountant who can testify to the extent of your injuries and the future implications both physically and financially. 

The Costs of a Medical Malpractice Case

As with any legal action, there will be significant costs associated with pursuing a medical malpractice case. If you represent yourself, all of the fees will come out-of-pocket, and just to file a lawsuit can cost between $100 to $500. Then there’s paying for copies of medical records and, if you want your case to be successful, the price for hiring expert witnesses. Expert witness fees will be the highest expense, as they can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars per hour. On average, an expert witness may spend between 20 to 30 hours on your case, which can quickly add up. 

Many medical malpractice attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have to pay a dime upfront. Your Riverside medical malpractice attorney will cover all of the costs associated with your claim, and you only have to pay legal fees if you win. 

Request a free consultation
request a free ,br>consultation
ALL FIELDS REQUIRED*
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.