After heart disease and cancer, accidents are the number three cause of death in the United States. Of course, accidents is a broad category that encompasses a lot including medical malpractice. In fact, more than 250,000 people die each year from surgical errors and other medical negligence. So what is medical negligence? Many folks think that if they have a bad outcome then someone must have committed malpractice, but actually that is not correct. Here are 5 basic facts you need to know about medical malpractice.
- A medical negligence or medical malpractice claim can be filed against any medical professional including nurses, dentists, nursing homes, pharmacists, technicians, mental health facilities, diagnostic facilities (such as mammography clinics, x-ray or MRI centers, etc)
- In order to prove medical malpractice, you have to show more than simply a bad result. To be successful, a patient must show:
- Duty – This is satisfied by demonstrating you were in a doctor-patient relationship.
- Breach of duty –In simplest terms, the doctor made a mistake that other doctors would not have made.
- Causation – The mistake caused harm or damage.
- Damages – The patient suffered some form of harm whether it be physical, economic, psychological, etc.
- Experts (other doctors, dentists, etc) are needed to prove the breach of duty, causation and damages. As a result, medical malpractice cases are very expensive to pursue. All too often, while the damges are very real, they are not enough to offset the cost of pursuing the case i.e, it will cost a $100,000 to pursue the case but the damages are only $50,000.
- Most medical malpractice cases are defended based on causation. In other words, the doctor may admit he or she made a mistake but will demonstrate, through experts, that the mistake did not make any material difference in the outcome.
- Tennessee has caps on the amount of non-economic damages a patient can recover in a medical malpractice suit. For more information on this issue, click here.
- In the last 10 years, the average payout in a medical malpractice case in the United States (including some states without caps) is $309,908.00
- Medical malpractice cases are tough and complex. Medical professionals often have consent clauses in their insurance contracts so the insurance company cannot settle without their consent. Not surprisingly, doctors are like a lot of other folks and they take it personal when someone says they made a mistake. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced attorney handling your medical malpractice case. John Day is a board-certified specialist in medical malpractice. For more information on John’s qualifications, click here. To see some of our medical malpractice results, click here.
- Another reason medical malpractice cases are tough is the complexity of the medical science underlying each case. In other words, to prove a medical professional made a mistake, most of the times you have to be able to understand the medicine involved. At the Law Offices of John Day, we have a full-time nurse on staff to assist us with medical malpractice claims. Cheryl Terrell has been with The Law Offices of John Day for 26 years and is an integral and valued team member.
- Evaluating a medical malpractice case takes a lot of time. Medical records have to be gathered, and this can take months depending upon the number of medical providers and the volume of records. Thereafter, the records have to be evaluated. If we think malpractice was committed, we then must locate, retain and consult with experts. All this to say, this is not the type of case to wait to the last minute. If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, call us right away.
We have offices conveniently located in Murfreesboro (615-867-9900), Nashville (615-669-3993) or Brentwood (615-742-4880). We represent clients in medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you.