Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex you’ll encounter. Naturally, you’re going to have a lot of questions when you’re making a claim. Your medical malpractice attorney wants you to go into this with a clear head and a solid understanding of the process. They’ll be happy to answer any of the questions we haven’t covered below or you can find more by browsing the internet.

Medical malpractice and errors makes doctors and patients go to court, gavel on legal books.
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Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Counts as Medical Malpractice?

The most common type of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. This is where a doctor tells you that you have an illness you don’t really have. Most of the time in cases of misdiagnosis, they’ll tell you that you have a different illness to the one you’re actually suffering from. Sometimes they’ll diagnose you with a serious illness when you’re not suffering from anything serious at all.


Taking too long to diagnose your ailment is also considered medical malpractice if a more competent doctor would have been able to diagnose you easily. Other forms of medical malpractice include:

  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Leaving foreign objects in your body
  • Damaging organs other than the one they’re operating on
  • Administering anesthesia improperly
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dose


2. Who Am I Suing When Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim?

You generally sue the individual who committed the offense in a malpractice claim. The individual is usually a doctor, nurse, or anesthesiologist. Sometimes you have to sue multiple individuals if you can’t be sure who was responsible for what happened to you.


You may also be able to sue the hospital the malpractice was committed in if the person in question is an employee of said hospital. You won’t be able to sue the hospital if the doctor is not a direct employee such as a nurse, surgeon, or anesthesiologist. Talk to your lawyer for medical malpractice Baltimore MD about this, as cases vary. Sometimes you may not be able to sue the hospital. You may also encounter staff working in the hospital, but not for the hospital.


3. How Do I Know How Much My Case Is Worth?

Your lawyer will be able to advise you on how much your medical malpractice case is worth. The worth of it depends on several subjective and objective factors. Most of the damages you’re suing for are intended to reimburse you for any physical, emotional, or financial consequences of the medical malpractice.


You can also be compensated for the cost of future treatment, loss of income, and any permanent loss of functional disability you suffered at the hands of this malpractice. If you can prove the defendant was acting intentionally, then you may be able to receive further damages.


4. Why Do Damage Caps Exist, and What Are They?

A damage cap means there’s a limit on how much you can receive in compensation during your medical malpractice case. Sometimes it applies to the total settlement, and other times it’s only relevant to non-economic damages such as pain, humiliation, and mental anguish.


It also exists to restrain juries from awarding excessive compensation to individuals they find sympathetic or as revenge on doctors they find unappealing during a case that goes to trial. The caps are also in place to prevent doctors from losing their jobs based on a single lawsuit that has bankrupted their practice or the hospital.


5. Can I Sue if a Nurse Gave Me the Wrong Medication?

A competent nurse should not be giving you the wrong medication if the medication prescribed is clearly marked on your chart. In this case, yes, you can sue the individual nurse. You may also be able to sue the practice or hospital that employs this nurse. However, you can only sue the hospital if you can prove the doctor supervising the nurse was an employee of the hospital at the time of the case.


6. Can I Sue if My Doctor Neglected To Inform Me of the Risks Regarding a Procedure?

You can’t always sue if a doctor neglected to discuss surgical risks with you. It’s the doctor’s duty to tell you about the most significant risks, but they don’t have to tell you about every possible risk that could occur. If your doctor failed to tell you about a major risk, then you can claim they didn’t have informed consent in a non-emergency case. However, you can’t sue if they neglected to inform you of minor risks, such as temporary pain after surgery.


There are many more questions that will come up if you think you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice. Make sure to ask your lawyer during your consultation or case assessment. Your medical malpractice lawyer has all the knowledge and experience to back up the answers they give you during your case. They can also help you work out the more nuanced details of what occurred during the malpractice.

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