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Medical Malpractice

Can I file a malpractice suit against someone who isn’t a doctor?

Anyone who provides healthcare services may be named as a defendant.

Can I lose my right to pursue a lawsuit if I didn’t follow a doctor’s instructions?

It depends on the severity of your derivation from the instructions, as well as the severity of the doctor’s negligence. If you do not exercise due care and attempt to mitigate damages, you may be found to be comparatively negligent. If this is the case, any damages you receive may be minimized.

If my insurance company covers part of my costs, will that affect the amount of the award I get if I win?

Under the collateral source rule, courts are not allowed to reduce an award for damages because you have been partially compensated by a nonparty to the case.

Is a misdiagnosis considered medical malpractice?

If your doctor incorrectly diagnoses you, and you suffered additional harm due to that misdiagnosis, you may be able to seek legal compensation through a medical malpractice case.

The key question in misdiagnosis cases is the same as in other medical malpractice lawsuits: Would another physician have handled the case drastically differently? Would he or she have caught the problem earlier? It is a question of the accepted standard of medical care.

What is a Certificate of Merit?

Before you can even file a medical malpractice case, you will likely need a certificate of merit, which declares that your case will hold water in court.

An expert - usually another doctor or healthcare provider - must review your relevant medical records and confirm that your doctor departed from standard medical practice, which resulted in injury to you. Essentially, this expert must sign off on your case. Your case is often not deemed legitimate until your attorney files the certificate of merit.

What is a medical malpractice case?

In simplest terms, medical malpractice is a mistake on the part of a healthcare provider. It occurs when a health care provider delivers faulty, substandard, or negligent treatment that results in death or injury to the patient.

However, several specific factors determine whether a medical malpractice case will hold water:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship, and the doctor had a duty to provide care.
  • The provided care and treatment fell below accepted medical standard. In other words, is it likely that another doctor would have made a similar mistake?
  • The patient suffered harm as a result of the provided care.
  • The harm suffered is quantifiable.

These terms are vague and arbitrary. If you feel you’ve suffered at the hands of a doctor or other health care provider, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney to determine the weight of your case and get a fair diagnosis.