Why Many Victims of Medical Malpractice Remain “Hidden”

Approximately 95% of instances of medical malpractice don’t result in lawsuits or claims which creates a tremendous number of “hidden” cases of malpractice. There are many reasons that an attorney may choose not to pursue a claim and it is important to understand these when contacting a medical malpractice lawyer.

Factors to Consider

Medical malpractice lawyers consider several factors during a consultation to determine whether a medical malpractice claim is valid including the liability of parties involved, the relationship between the negligent actions and the injuries that were caused, and the potential damages that can be pursued. The attorney will also consider the resources required to pursue the claim including the investment of time and personnel, and whether the claim is within the applicable statutes of limitations. Finally, the attorney will consider how the claim will appear to the jury, whether the claim is likely to be settled out of court, or whether the evidence is insufficient which could result in dismissal or losing the case.

The Importance of Injury and Evidence

If no injury has occurred, then there is no case to pursue. The perception of injury or potential for injury is not enough to pursue a claim. In situations where an injury has occurred as the result of medical negligence, it is important to have evidence that substantiates the claim. This evidence can include notes, photographs, eyewitness statements, medical bills, etc.

It is also crucial to establish whether the standard of care that was provided deviated from accepted procedures. To prevail in a medical malpractice case, it is necessary to establish that the physician, nurse, anesthesiologist, etc., committed an act or mistake that was either preventable or deliberately negligent. It must also be established that the injury would not have occurred if treatment was provided within accepted treatment protocols. This is very difficult to do in experimental or unproven treatments such as stem cell therapy.

Emerging from the Shadows

Most of the medical malpractice claims that aren’t pursued stem from lack of evidence, the lack of real damages, and the expiration of statutes of limitations. Consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible following an injury can help preserve evidence and ensure that there is sufficient time to prepare and pursue the case. It also allows individuals to speak with multiple medical malpractice attorneys and select the legal team that has the necessary skill, experience, and resources to pursue the case.