Medical Malpractice – When Do You Have a Case?


    Sadly, not all medical procedures go smoothly.  Health care providers make mistakes.  Hospitals and clinics may disappoint.  Even “bad results” are not unusual. 

    A patient in need of care, a course of treatment, or a medical procedure places him- or herself in the hands of health care providers, clinics, and/or hospitals.  There are always risks associated with health care services – patients generally sign forms acknowledging that they have been fully informed about the risks associated with their procedure or course of treatment. 

    But when does a simple error by a health care professional, a misstep by an institution, or that unfortunately bad result, transcend the risks that you may have accepted and become a potential case for a malpractice action?  When is it prudent to take legal action to change a faulty system or process, to assure that no one else has to endure the same trauma in the future, or to seek compensation for a loss?

    Your attorney can assist you in making that determination by helping you get the medical records to which you are entitled and obtaining review by an expert professional well versed in the medical standards of care associated with your case.  It is generally wise to consider legal action only after an expert certifies that your outcome resulted from a “deviation in the standard of care.”  Even then, litigation may not be the only course: arbitration and mediation are also options available to the aggrieved.

    Bad things do happen, and often no one is to blame.  But if someone has failed to exercise the appropriate level of care in treating you or your loved one, you are entitled to know, and ought to have the option to bring change to the system or to seek redress.