If you have been injured because of a medical error, you may know it can be difficult to get a fair medical malpractice settlement. You are not alone. A survey found that only one in eight patients who suffered an injury even filed a medical malpractice claim.
But why are medical malpractice claims so difficult to settle fairly? Some reasons are outlined below.
Medical Malpractice is Difficult and Expensive to Prove
Unlike a typical personal injury claim, proving cause and effect in a medical malpractice case is more complicated. To receive a fair medical malpractice settlement requires proving the cause of an injury or cause of death is related to a mistake a health care provider made and this can be difficult. Not just anyone can say a health care provider made a mistake or was negligent. It takes another doctor with the same knowledge and experience to analyze the situation and decide what they would have done in the same circumstance.
It can be expensive to hire these medical experts. Having a complete set of medical records evaluated by a doctor can take quite some time. A set of records can be thousands of pages long. Sorting through all of the paperwork to find out if malpractice was committed takes time and money.
An Autopsy was Not Requested
In a personal injury case, the person bringing the lawsuit has the burden of proving that the defendant caused harm. In a medical malpractice case where the patient has died, the best way to prove cause of death is through an autopsy.
Usually autopsies are the furthest thing from your mind after you have lost a loved one. You may not even consider a medical malpractice case at this point. However, an autopsy can help clarify what caused the patient to die. This in turn could help strengthen your claim.
It’s not always a good idea to request an autopsy, however. Sometimes other underlying conditions can be found. A defense attorney can try to use these underlying conditions to distract a jury from the medical error.
Because of this, it’s best to consult a medical malpractice attorney as soon as your loved one has died. They will be able to tell you whether requesting an autopsy is appropriate.
You Didn’t Hire an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Personal injury claims take a certain amount of expertise. Medical malpractice law requires even more knowledge than a regular personal injury claim does.
Malpractice law has its own set of rules and procedures and the majority of Iowa attorneys are not familiar with all of them, making a fair medical malpractice settlement difficult to win. An Iowa medical malpractice attorney must also be knowledgeable about medical trends and procedures. They have to attend continuing education classes each year to keep informed about the latest changes in medicine and law.
If you don’t hire an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice, they may not know how to properly value your case. This means you may not be getting all of the compensation you deserve.
There are more reasons why it can be difficult to get a fair settlement after a medical error. If you want to know how to maximize your medical malpractice settlement, call us at 1-319-774-1542.