As a client planning to discuss your situation with an attorney at a medical malpractice law firm, you'll likely want to know what it takes to win a case. It's not possible for a medical malpractice lawyer to tell you that you'll win for sure, but they can help you understand what might improve your odds. These four issues tend to have a lot of bearing on successful cases.
Showing When the Injuries Occurred
One of the first defenses medical organizations and professionals will put forward is that whatever went wrong wasn't the product of their work. For example, they may assert that the injuries were due to a pre-existing condition. Being able to document what your health looked like before an incident can help a lot, so a medical malpractice attorney will usually go through your records. Likewise, showing that nothing other than the procedure, drug, or treatment in question could have caused the injuries is a good start.
Pointing to a Specific At-Fault Party
Usually, one doctor is responsible for a malpractice situation because they took charge. This might be a general practitioner, specialist, or surgeon, depending on the circumstances. Some cases involve non-doctors, such as EMTs providing treatment en route to a hospital. Paperwork is produced when cases are taken on, and this usually leads a medical malpractice lawyer to who might be at fault.
A medical malpractice attorney may also elect to discuss what happened with experts from the field involved in the incident. For example, a lawyer might contact a spinal doctor to learn how a particular nerve cluster was damaged during surgery and what the consequences of that would be.
It's also common for attorneys to depose expert witnesses. This means they'll take sworn testimony from them and have it recorded, usually in a video format.
The goal of working with an expert is to establish what a competent medical professional in the same situation would do. Notably, this does not make it medical malpractice just because the expert wouldn't have done what the doctor did. Instead, the question is whether the expert believes a competent professional would have objected to the course of treatment or the choice of surgical methods.
Information from You
A medical malpractice lawyer will also want to show how the client has suffered. Attorneys oftentimes ask their clients to make daily journal entries that document pain levels and difficulties faced due to their injuries. This information can be used to justify a claim of damages.
For more information, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in your area.