Medical malpractice is where a health care professional provides treatment that is below the accepted standard of the medical community, which results in injury or death. These cases are mostly due to medical error. Medical malpractice Iowa City IA has attorneys experienced in medical malpractice lawsuits. It is estimated that over 1 million people are injured, and about 200,000 people die every year as a result of medical errors. Each year there are approximately 20,000 medical malpractice lawsuits brought against doctors.
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit is the patient who was injured. If the patient dies the executor or administrator of the dead person’s estate is the plaintiff. The health care provider is the defendant. When referring to a health care provider it is usually a doctor but can be a nurse, a therapist, a dentist or other medical care provider.
There are four elements that must be established to win a medical malpractice lawsuit:
* A duty was owed. This is where a health care provider or hospital gives treatment or care to a patient.
* The duty was breached: The patient received substandard care.
* The substandard care caused an injury or death.
* There was damage, whether emotional or pecuniary.
Once a lawsuit is filed in court, both parties have to share information, such as dispositions and requests for documents. If both parties agree, the case can be settled before going to trial. Both sides usually present expert witnesses and the court must qualify these witnesses. Whoever loses the case may file for a new trial.
Winning a medical malpractice lawsuit may mean compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages can be for lost wages, medical expenses and lifetime care. These damages may include past and future loses. The injury itself, emotional distress, psychological damage and pain add to the total amount of the damages. Medical malpractice awards can be in the millions of dollars because a lifetime of medical care can cost millions of dollars. If it can be proven that wanton and reckless behavior was responsible for the injury or death, punitive damage can be awarded.
Tom Riley Law Firm Iowa City IA have attorneys that can explain the intricacies of medical malpractice lawsuits.