When a person places their trust in a doctor, nurse, hospital or other medical professional, they are doing so with the expectation that they will provide the highest quality care and treat them to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, this trust is not always honored. As such, when medical professionals act negligently or fail to adhere to the standard of care, the resulting complications, injuries and anguish that patients feel can be overwhelming. If you have been harmed by a doctor or nurse’s negligence, you may have grounds to take civil action against those responsible in pursuit of fair financial recovery for your injuries.
Several different factors you should consider.
Cost: Litigation is an expensive and lengthy process, and after all is said and done, there is no guarantee that you will win. Cost does not just mean money in a lawsuit; cost includes time and the emotional toll as well. While you may feel a deep emotional connection to your case and have strong feelings about your mistreatment, it is important to remember that the courts may seem disinterested and will likely not be able to see your side of the story as clearly. It is important you weight the potential cost and stress of litigation and make sure that it makes sense in the context of your situation. You should consider hiring a lawyer that will work on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you will owe no legal fee if your lawsuit is unsuccessful.
Evidence: Your chances of success are largely dependent on the strength and amount of evidence in your favor. While you may have a strong gut feeling that your doctor violated the required standard of care, if you do not have substantial proof, your case may not hold up in court. Medical records and testimony are key to medical malpractice cases.
Who is responsible: Medical malpractice cases often fail simply because the plaintiff pursued legal action against the wrong party. For example, while many doctors may practice at a certain hospital, they are not always considered employees of a hospital and must be sued personally in a medical malpractice case. Similarly, multiple medical providers (such as doctors, nurses, and hospital staff) may share responsibility. You may not even know who is responsible. Sometimes, for example, an anesthesiologist or radiologist may have been involved without the patient even knowing their names. A medical malpractice attorney can help identify responsible or negligent medical care providers.
Timing: Timing is of the essence as medical malpractice claims have a very short statute of limitations (deadlines) and other filing/timing requirements. An attorney that handles medical malpractice lawsuits can help you understand the statute of limitations applicable to your case.
Ultimately, the most important step in determining whether or not you should pursue legal remedies is to consult with a legal professional. Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC, a Louisville, Kentucky medical malpractice attorney, has secured more than $100 million dollars in settlement and jury verdicts on behalf of injured clients since 1991 and can provide knowledgeable guidance you need to pursue the most appropriate course of action.
To find out more about what our decades of experience can do for you, call (502) 242-8877 today.