The processes and procedures involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit are filled with legal complexities as well as scenarios to prove a medical malpractice case. This article will discuss some frequently asked medical malpractice questions and provide the answers.
Q.How can I afford to hire a medical malpractice attorney to represent me and my medical malpractice lawsuit? It must be noted that most law firms will accept a medical malpractice case on a contingency fee basis. By definition, the term contingent fee means ‘a payment arrangement between a lawyer and a client’; whereby ‘the client pays no fee if his or her claim is not successful, but if the claim is successful, he or she pays the lawyer a set share of the judgement or settlement amount, often up to a third’. This basically means that you do not have to pay your attorney a fee unless the case reaches a favorable outcome for you, which implies you receive a settlement before trial or a jury rules in your favor after trial. Once a favorable outcome has been reached, the attorney will receive an agreed upon percentage of the settlement or judgement. In most cases, this is usually around 33%. It must be noted that the claimant may have to pay expenses associated with his or her case regardless of whether he or she wins or loses. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the claimant understands the fine print of any contract before signing it.
Q.Is a misdiagnosis considered as a medical malpractice? It is important to note that this depends on the information available to your doctor at the time of your diagnosis, as well as the steps the doctor took or failed to take in reaching a conclusion with regard to your condition. All this information must then be weighed against the applicable medical standard of care that a similarly trained healthcare professional would have provided under the same circumstances. If it is determined that the misdiagnosis fell below the applicable standard of care, it is necessary then to show that you ended up suffering some kind of harm as a result.
Q.Is there a minimum or maximum amount that can be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit? First, it must be noted that there is no minimum amount that a plaintiff must be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, many states have placed caps on the maximum amount of compensation a plaintiff can be awarded when it comes to certain types of losses. With regard to the state of Alaska, there are limits or caps in place as to the amount of medical malpractice compensation a plaintiff can receive after a successful lawsuit. The Alaska caps on medical malpractice damages do not apply to economic losses but are specific to non-economic damages. There is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case. This cap can be bumped up to $400,000 for non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases involving wrongful death or severe permanent physical impairment that is over 70% debilitating.
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