Why Won’t You Take My Iowa Medical Malpractice Case?

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Posted by Farl Greene

We get thousands of phone calls and website requests each year from people who feel they have an Iowa medical malpractice case. While we agree there’s no excuse for shoddy medical care, unfortunately not all bad medical care qualifies as medical malpractice in Iowa.

To be considered medical malpractice in Iowa, there needs to be an injury or death that happened because of negligence or improper care of a doctor, nurse, or other medical health professional. Malpractice can come in a variety of shapes and sizes – it can be the result of a missed diagnosis, an improper technique, or a delay in treatment.

Iowa law makes patients or their families investigate whether medical malpractice occurred. It is up to the victim or their families to investigate a bad medical result.

This investigation is expensive and complex, and it involves proving liability. To prove liability in medical malpractice, you must prove four things:

  1. That a doctor/patient relationship existed.
  2. That the doctor was negligent.
  3. That the doctor’s negligence caused your injury.
  4. That your injury led to specific damages.

Obviously, most Iowans don’t have the money or the knowledge to properly investigate whether medical malpractice occurred. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire an experienced Iowa medical malpractice lawyer to conduct the investigation for you.

An Iowa medical malpractice lawyer cannot say that malpractice occurred – they have to hire medical experts with the same experience and knowledge as the medical professional who hurt you. Hiring these experts is very expensive – it’s not unusual to spend $50,000-$100,000 investigating a medical malpractice claim.

RSH Legal’s medical malpractice attorneys work on contingency. Contingency means that you don’t owe any money to hire us, and you only pay for our services if we make a financial recovery for you – either through a settlement or a verdict at trial. That also means that we pay for the investigation costs of all medical malpractice cases we accept.

As you can imagine, if we have to pay $50-$100,000 to investigate each medical malpractice claim, we have to make sure it is worth the money to do so. That’s why we only investigate medical malpractice claims where:

  • The injury to you or a loved one results in permanent injury or death.
  • The injury is directly related to the alleged malpractice. 
  • The malpractice occurred in Iowa within the last 18 months (unless it involves an injury to a child during birth).

Medical malpractice cases that we generally do NOT take include:

  • Claims where you got an infection from a hospital stay.
  • Claims about “bad bedside manner” or injuries that only frightened or angered you.
  • Claims concerning problems that “might” happen in the future.
  • Any claim against an orthopedic surgeon in Linn County, Iowa.

Although we will not take your case if your claim falls into one of those categories, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a valid medical malpractice claim. We limit our cases to the most seriously injured Iowans so we can focus on getting compensation for those who need it most.Hopefully, this explains a little more why we can’t take every Iowa medical malpractice claim. If you would like more information about malpractice claims, download a FREE copy of the Law Guide to Iowa Medical Malpractice Claims.

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