Many patients who are injured due to medical negligence never recover compensation for their injuries because they do not pursue a personal injury claim through a medical malpractice lawyer. Medical malpractice claims fall under personal injury law, but they are one of the more challenging types of claims to handle because of the bar that must be met to prove medical negligence. For many reasons, medical malpractice cases require the expertise of a medical malpractice lawyer.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of negligent medical care, it is in your interest to review your situation with an experienced, local medical malpractice lawyer who can determine whether you have a case for medical malpractice.
There are many reasons that medical malpractice cases require the expertise of a medical malpractice lawyer, including access to medical experts. Medical malpractice lawyers build up a network of medical experts who can testify in medical malpractice trials. Without a medical malpractice attorney, it would be incredibly difficult for an injured person to access an expert witness.
One of the other major benefits to hiring a medical malpractice law firm to handle your medical negligence claim is that these firms typically pay up front for all expenses that come up while handling a case. They are only reimbursed once the client is awarded a settlement or courtroom verdict. The expenses that add up in medical malpractice cases are often much higher than those incurred in other personal injury cases, making it important to find a law firm that takes on medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis.
Proving the four elements
A medical malpractice attorney gathers evidence and retains expert witnesses, as needed, to prove each of the four elements involved in a successful medical malpractice claim. Each element must be proven by “a preponderance of evidence”, which means that the jury must believe that they are more than likely true.
The first element is proof of a patient-doctor relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff. This element is important because it shows that the medical provider owed a duty of care to the defendant and that they could reasonably be responsible for the injury that occurred. It is fairly straightforward to prove this element with medical records that show the defendant was the plaintiff’s healthcare provider at the time the medical error occurred.
The second element is negligence, which is proved by showing that the defendant was negligent because they failed to provide the level of care that another doctor would have provided in a similar situation. In other words, the plaintiff must show that a competent medical provider in the same role would not have made the medical error in question under comparable circumstances. This element is the hardest to prove of the four, often requiring the expertise of medical experts brought in by the medical malpractice team.
The third element is proof that the medical provider’s negligent care directly led to their injuries. To prove direct cause, the plaintiff must show that their injury would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s conduct. This element is only proved with complex evidence and expert testimony from medical experts that requires considerable expertise to gather and present. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer also knows how to fight back against arguments made by the defense, such as that there are many other factors that could have contributed to the plaintiff’s condition and that the injuries suffered were a “known risk.”
The fourth element is proving that the plaintiff suffered damages. The plaintiff will not be able to recover a settlement unless they suffered damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, disability, etc. A medical malpractice lawyer gathers medical bills and makes calculations for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
The Seattle Personal Injury Lawyers You Want on Your Side
The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury.
Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys.