Injury Lawyers Representing Victims of Medical Malpractice Throughout Iowa
With the outrageous cost of the American healthcare system, we like to think that we get the best care that money can buy worldwide. Shockingly, a recent survey ranked the American healthcare system as 11th best overall. Due to mistakes made for a variety of reasons, some patients end up in worse condition than they were in before they sought healthcare. Medical malpractice is on the rise and is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in our country. In 2013 alone, 3.7 billion dollars were paid to plaintiffs for medical malpractice damages.
Sometimes medical malpractice errors don’t cause immediate harm. But they can exacerbate existing conditions or cause chronic issues that aren’t felt until years after the accident. You need to be certain you collect every penny from your malpractice claim to ensure that you didn’t suffer without recourse. Medical malpractice can cause new personal injuries, worsen existing conditions, and in some cases, even cause unnecessary deaths.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
While there are very many types of medical malpractice, the following are the most common:
- Misdiagnosis (i.e., diagnosing the wrong condition)
- The failure to diagnose an adverse condition in a patient
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Errors during surgery
- Prescription medication errors by the doctor or the pharmacy (i.e., misfills)
- Child birth errors
What to Do after You Have Suffered Negligent Medical Care
After you experience negligent care or mistreatment that causes a significant harm to you or a loved one, you need to contact an experienced attorney right away. Even though most persons in Iowa will have two years to file a medical malpractice case, you may not be aware that you are a victim of medical malpractice at the time the error is made, and few medical personnel are going to advise you that they have misjudged some aspect of your care or failed to do what they should have done to prevent your injury (or at least reduce the severity of the injury they were treating).
Furthermore, medical malpractice cases are usually extremely complex, and may require several different expert medical witnesses to prove that one or more of the treating physicians were negligent. The patient’s lawyer will have to obtain copies of all of the medical records, determine which expert witnesses would be required to prove the case, and then contact suitable expert witnesses who are willing to testify against the defendant in the case. Ordinarily, the patient’s attorney will have to consult experts outside of Iowa in order to get an unbiased opinion from one who is willing to testify against a local medical person.
Regardless of where you decide to seek expert legal advice on the matter, do not put off meeting with a lawyer to discuss your options. It will be very hard to find a lawyer who will take your case if you contact him or her one month or two before the statute of limitations will expire on your claim. A lawyer just will not have sufficient time in one or two months to gather all of the necessary medical records, contact pertinent medical experts, and assess whether the case should be pursued. It helps no one to file a lawsuit against a doctor who did his or her duty and met the standard of care in the profession, even if the patient did suffer an unfortunate result, which certainly can occur.
A bad medical outcome is not synonymous with malpractice. It takes time to do the necessary investigation to determine whether a malpractice lawsuit is in order.