A medical negligence lawyer is also referred to as a medical malpractice lawyer. Medical negligence lawyers represent clients in cases resulting from injuries caused by the acts or omissions of physicians, health professionals, or medical facilities. The plaintiff often has to prove that a standard of care was not met by the defendant and that the injury was a cause of the defendant’s negligence. Expert witnesses are often used by both sides of a legal action to prove whether a standard of care was met. A jury or judge must examine the testimonies of expert witnesses to determine what the norm is and whether the defendant strayed from common medical practices.
Medical malpractice cases often require the medical negligence attorney to prove four elements on behalf of the plaintiff. To begin with, the medical negligence lawyer has to show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, such as implied by a doctor and patient relationship. The plaintiff often must show the defendant breached the duty of care by acting or failing to act in conformity with standard medical practices. Then the plaintiff often has to show that harm or injury. such as disfigurement, happened as a result of that breach of duty. Finally the plaintiff must prove that there were damages as a result of the injury, such as wrongful death or loss of income.
The field of medical malpractice is technical, and a medical negligence lawyer is most often going to specialize in handling certain types of cases. For example, one medical negligence lawyer may represent physicians in cases brought about because of surgery, and another lawyer may present clients who have experienced injuries related to child birth. Other types of medical negligence cases include improper medical drug prescriptions and errors in dental work. Some attorneys represent only health-care professionals and the medical facilities being sued, while others represent patients, and some represent local governmental agencies that operate the hospital or health center. An attorney often cannot represent one client against a former client or both sides in the same case, because it is considered a conflict of interest.
The first step in a medical negligence lawsuit is often for a medical negligence lawyer to file a certificate of merit. It’s a way for an expert in the medical field, such as another doctor, to review the medical records and to confirm that the medical professional did not act in a way consistent with standard practices in the medical industry. The expert also has to certify that injury resulted from the provider’s negligence.