When Do I need a Lawyer for My Medical Malpractice Case?

Not every claim which you are considering against another party requires an attorney. The facts and circumstances dictate when you need to involve the services of an attorney. Not every bad outcome that occurs in a hospital or at a doctor's office means that medical malpractice was committed.

However, even if it appears that medical malpractice was committed or if there is suspicion about it a lawyer should be consulted if the damages suffered by the patient are serious and permanent. For instance, if a patient is given two aspirin instead of one which was ordered by the doctor and suffers no effect, then it would not be necessary to get a lawyer involved to handle such a matter.

A common complaint in medical malpractice inquiries is that the doctor had a bad bedside manner and talked rudely to the patient or their family.  Again, this is not an actionable claim against the doctor and it caused no damages other than hurt feelings.  It should not be a basis to seek an attorney's input.

Another consideration regarding the decision to involve an attorney related to the amount or availability of insurance coverage to pay your damages. If the person who has injured you has multiple types of insurance and policies, it is not always easy to discover that information. The person might have insurance with separate companies which the adjuster with whom you are negotiating is not aware.

An attorney can seek affidavits from the insurance company and its insured to protect you in the event other insurance is later discovered which will pay for your injuries. Attorneys also have resources to confirm the existence of certain types of insurance coverages.

If you suffer minimal injury or damages, it is frequently not worth getting an attorney involved. Do not go to an attorney with the hope or thought that he will make your damages higher by helping you get unnecessary medical treatment from "plaintiff friendly" doctors. These types of claims not only cost you more in the long run, but also slow down the judicial system.

This does not mean that you should not get thoroughly checked out by another physician following an incident. Sometimes injuries which at first seem minor, develop into serious life altering conditions. Do not assume that just because you are able to leave the site of any accident (automobile or other), that you are medically o.k. Get your own doctor to perform a thorough examination.

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