What To Look for in Lawyers Who Handle Medical Malpractice

June 13, 2023

Medical malpractice cases address serious breaches of care by healthcare practitioners. Medical malpractice claims may address medication errors, misdiagnoses, inadequate treatment, and neglect. 

A patient who suffers injury or illness because of a medical practitioner’s negligence can seek monetary compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. When pursuing a medical malpractice case, highly qualified legal representation is crucial.

When you sue a medical care provider for malpractice, you benefit from the top-quality legal help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Lawyers who handle medical malpractice claims provide unique knowledge and resources critical for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.

Why It’s Imperative That You Choose the Right Lawyers for Your Case

Every industry has its specialists, and the legal field is no different. Because the law is highly specialized, attorneys often have experience with one area of law but lack deep knowledge in other areas. For example, a lawyer specializing in tax law is unlikely to have the knowledge, experience, and resources to successfully pursue a medical malpractice case.

It is critical to hire an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits. For a successful medical malpractice claim, you need an experienced and resourceful legal team who can understand the client's experience, interpret medical records, and recognize violations of the standard of care.

The legal team must also be well-versed in the legal requirements associated with medical malpractice claims, including the burden of proof, rules of evidence, and statute of limitations.

When you build a medical malpractice case, the right medical malpractice lawyers can make all the difference. Unlike more generalized personal injury practice, law firms specializing in medical malpractice bring categorical knowledge and expert analysis from both a legal and medical perspective.

What To Look For in a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Even within the medical malpractice field, not all attorneys are created equal. Some medical malpractice lawyers have more experience with particular types of cases. Since medical malpractice claims can be highly technical and very complex, you should look for a lawyer who:

Has Extensive Experience With Medical Malpractice Claims

Lawyers who handle medical malpractice are well-versed in the regulatory and legal requirements for medical treatment. They have handled enough cases to know which legal strategies are most effective. 

Medical malpractice lawyers with sufficient experience can also spot weaknesses in your case and find ways to address them.

Ultimately, a quality medical malpractice lawyer’s goal is to prove to the courts that the medical care practitioner, whether a doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant, was negligent in their care and that negligence caused the injury. To prove negligence, the attorney must show that:

  • The medical care provider owed a duty of care to the patient.
  • The medical provider breached their duty of care.
  • The medical provider’s breach caused the patient’s injuries.
  • The patient suffered damages or losses because of those injuries.

Establishing negligence in a medical malpractice case requires extensive evidence, including medical records, treatment plans, and expert testimony. The legal team must be able to prove not only that medical malpractice occurred but that the malpractice directly caused the patient’s injuries. 

They must also show that the patient’s injuries resulted in losses or damages. For example, suppose a surgical error requires the patient to undergo surgery to repair the mistake. In that case, the patient could sue for the cost of the second surgery, lost income during surgery and recovery, and pain and suffering from the botched surgical procedure. 

Knows How To Find and Work Well With Medical Experts

A critical foundation of any medical malpractice case is establishing the medical provider’s failure in their duty of care. Medical practitioners must provide medical diagnosis and treatment consistent with the standards of care for their field. If they fail to diagnose or treat the patient properly, they could be liable for the patient's resulting injuries or illness.

An established medical malpractice attorney should have experience finding and working with medical experts in various fields of medicine. The areas with the most successful malpractice claims include:

  • Dermatology
  • Urology
  • Plastic surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Neurology
  • Pediatrics
  • Pathology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Gastroenterology

A medical expert working in the same field can establish whether the patient received medical care consistent with established standards. Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice recognize the value of expert testimony in a medical malpractice claim. They will have established relationships with medical experts they know they can trust to provide quality testimony.

Understands Medicine

To establish a medical malpractice claim, a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer will have an intimate working knowledge of industry standards. 

Medical malpractice attorneys spend years researching the language and terms associated with medical malpractice. This allows a quality malpractice attorney to review medical records to understand the patient’s underlying conditions and treatment plans. 

While they may not be medical experts, attorneys who handle medical malpractice claims should have a sufficient working knowledge of medicine to review diagnostics, imaging, and treatment plans and establish how the malpractice occurred. 

In addition, a medical malpractice lawyer will know how the medical system functions, so they can determine who is fundamentally responsible for the patient’s injuries. For instance, malpractice can be perpetrated by the treating physician, attending nurse, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or pharmacist. 

The hospital or medical facility could also be liable for a medical malpractice claim if the patient’s injury was due to poor policies or practices.

Has a Track Record of Winning Fair Compensation

An excellent way to gauge a medical malpractice lawyer’s quality is to review their past cases. Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice will have a portfolio of successful case results for medical malpractice claims like yours. 

The primary goal of a medical malpractice claim is monetary compensation for the patient’s losses following a breach of the standard of care. Medical malpractice attorneys with a history of success know how to negotiate a fair settlement value against even the most aggressive or stubborn medical practitioners and their insurers. 

Look for attorneys specializing in medical malpractice who exhibit past success in pursuing maximum settlements and verdicts to cover their clients’ full losses. 

Build a Winning Medical Malpractice Team

Whether you are a patient who suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor or a law firm looking to add an outstanding medical malpractice lawyer to your team, McEldrew Purtell can help you find the right legal services for your needs. 

Our extensive network of vetted attorneys offers experience, resources, and manpower to help you successfully handle complex and large-scale medical malpractice claims.