There are a number of situations where medical errors can result in injuries. Each circumstance is unique and must be completely assessed by an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The attorneys at Groth & Associates are knowledgeable and ready to work with you in order to ensure your rights are protected.
What is medical malpractice?
Malpractice is another word for "negligence" which means that a health care provider did not perform in accordance with the standard of care. If the malpractice caused harm, a lawsuit or claim may be filed to recover damages for the harm that was suffered.
Who are health care providers?
Health Care Providers are the people and institutions involved in the "healing arts." Included in the definition are medical doctors, podiatrists, chiropractors, nurses, physician assistants, midwives, optometrists, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists, physical therapists, hospitals, clinics, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
Why are expert witnesses necessary?
If the subject matter is not commonly understood by ordinary people, then evidence may be offered by someone with specialized knowledge and experience. This person is called an "expert witness." In almost all medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff cannot prove the case unless an "expert" testifies regarding the issues of "standard of care" and "causation."
What is causation?
Causation means that the actions of the health care provider led to or contributed to the injuries and damages suffered. For example, if an emergency room doctor did not quickly examine a patient, it could be a life-or-death situation. However, if the patient would have died, regardless of anything a doctor might have done, then there would be no "causation," even if the doctor delayed his examination.
What damages can be recovered in medical malpractice cases?
Damages are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include out-of-pocket losses that have ascertainable monetary value, such as lost earnings and medical bills. If the loss can be replaced with money, it is "economic." Non-economic damages are typically known as "pain and suffering" damages. It is compensation for physical impairment or disability, or the diminished enjoyment of life caused by the malpractice. If the malpractice resulted in a patient's death, the damages include compensation for the lost financial support that the spouse and family would have received, and compensation for the loss of the decedents care, comfort and love.