What Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Do?

Medical malpractice lawyer

The statistics are grim. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that medical malpractice kills 225,000 patients annually. Medical malpractice lawyers seek justice and damages on behalf of plaintiffs injured by medical professionals.  In 2012 alone, over $3 billion was paid to plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Medical malpractice lawsuits stem from the professional misconduct, unreasonable lack of skill or negligence displayed by a medical professional or healthcare organization that harms the patient. If the patient’s injuries were directly caused by the misconduct and serious damages/injuries were incurred a medical malpractice claim may be appropriate.

Medical malpractice attorneys carefully review the particulars of a person’s injury to ensure that all elements of a successful medical malpractice claim are present. For situations that warrant it, medical malpractice lawyers litigate lawsuits based on the negligent conduct of individuals providing care such as doctors, nurses, dentists and anesthesiologists and health care providers such as hospitals, health care clinics and medical corporations.

How does a medical malpractice attorney prove negligence?

One of the many reasons to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer for a medical malpractice claim is that it is difficult to prove negligence, the predominant theory of liability in medical malpractice cases.

The medical malpractice attorney will prove the following four elements in a successful case:

  • That the medical professional had a “duty of care” to the patient. This is usually established by showing that the plaintiff was a patient of the doctor at the time of the injury. When a doctor provides medical treatment he or she owes a legal “duty of care” to their patient. They must act within established medical standards and in a way that a qualified peer would act under similar circumstances.
  • That a “breach of duty” occurred. The medical malpractice lawyer will prove that the medical professional breached their “duty of care” to the patient when they treated the patient in a negligent manner.
  • The medical malpractice lawyer must show a causal connection between the breach of the standard of care and the victim’s injury.
  • The medical malpractice attorney must show that the plaintiff incurred actual serious injuries/damages as a result of the healthcare provider’s breach of duty.

What work does a medical malpractice lawyer do to build a case?

In order to prove the four elements of a winning malpractice case medical malpractice lawyers take on several steps, including:

  • Take depositions of medical experts, the plaintiff and others relevant to the case.
  • Gather and analyze medical records.
  • Conduct research relevant to the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • Work with medical experts to develop case theories, review expert reports and retain expert witnesses who will support the plaintiff’s case in court if necessary.
  • Set up and accompany plaintiffs to independent medical examinations (IMEs) to gain an objective evaluation of injuries sustained by the plaintiff.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at (206) 752-4366 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.