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What is "medical malpractice"?
Actionable medical malpractice, also called "medical negligence," occurs when a physician fails to properly treat a medical condition and the negligent act or omission is the cause of a new or aggravated injury to the patient. The negligence can occur in a variety of situations including but not limited to:
- failure in diagnosing a disease; or
- A surgical or anesthesia related mishap during an operative procedure; or
- failure to gain the informed consent of the patient for an operation or surgical procedure; or
- an correct diagnosis;
- misuse of prescription drugs or a medical device or implant.
It is the attorney's obligation to determine as quickly and efficiently as possible whether there is a good, actionable case. This is so because medical malpractice cases are by their very nature, complex, expensive to pursue, have a high risk of no recovery, and often involve a client's "personal" attachment. The first step in the process involves the potential client entering into an agreement with the attorney in which agreement sets forth the method of attorney compensation. Typically the attorney agrees to advance all costs, only to be repaid costs in the event of recovery, and to work on a contingent fee basis, that is the attorney would receive a percentage of the gross recovery. Thus, the client will endure no economic loss in the event of no recovery.
Because medical malpractice is an extraordinarily complex area of law, it is absolutely necessary that an individual who believes they may have been the subject of improper or inadequate medical treatment seek out and consult with a lawyer who specializes in that area.
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[Last Revised 2/02]