Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical malpractice lawsuits arise when there is negligence or failure to exercise reasonable care by a medical professional. Medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, clinics and hospitals are among the entities that can be sued in medical malpractice suits.

Some of the most common mistakes that lead to malpractice lawsuits are objects left in during surgery, infections resulting from faulty procedures during or after surgery, the wrong medicine or amount of medicine being given, poor post-surgery care or failure to follow established medical guidelines. Both doing something that should not have been done and failing to do what should have been done constitute malpractice.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you’ve been harmed through the negligence of a medical professional, you might have grounds for a lawsuit. The first step would be to discuss your case with a few lawyers. Most lawyers will offer free case evaluation so it would be wise to talk to more than one attorney.

Most cases proceed when 2 things are evident. First, it must be clear that harm was caused by the negligence or lack of reasonable care. Secondly, the malpractice lawyers must believe that they can win the case or force a settlement before it goes to court.

If these things are in place, then a suit will be filed. Your lawyer will seek medical records, witness testimony through depositions and other evidence. The defense lawyers will take part in depositions and make a decision to fight the case or to offer a settlement out of court.

In most malpractice lawsuits, settlements are reached before the case goes to court. The amount of the settlement is negotiated and agreed to by all parties. As a part of most settlements, the medical professional or corporation such as a hospital is allowed to deny any fault in the matter.

When you file a malpractice suit, expect the process to take 3-6 months for simple cases that reach a settlement. In complex cases or those that go to trial, 6-12 months is more common, though some go longer than that.

Finding Malpractice Attorneys

Also frequently called personal injury attorneys, medical malpractice lawyers specialize in civil litigation that involves harm being done to their clients.

Look for an attorney or team of attorneys with specific experience in the type of case you have. Ask about their success in such cases and the amounts of settlements or judgments received.

It’s also important to look for lawyers who are willing to refuse settlement offers and take a case to court. This shows that they are not looking for a quick settlement, but will do what is necessary to get their client the largest payment. Cases that are taken to court and won can result in payments 75%-100% larger on average than those settled out of court. However, they will be able to advise you as to whether your case should be pushed to court or taking a settlement makes more sense.

Fees and Payments to Malpractice Attorneys

Most malpractice and personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That is, their getting paid is contingent upon obtaining a settlement or a verdict in court. If they win the case for you, they get paid. If they lose, they don’t.

In most cases, the payment agreement is that the lawyers get 1/3 of the settlement or judgment plus their fees for the work. However, this can be negotiated with them before they take the case. Also, make sure you take into consideration any taxes that you owe on any legal settlement.


If you’ve been harmed through negligence or lack of care by medical professionals, it makes sense to get a case evaluation from one or more medical malpractice attorneys. When you consult those with good experience, they’ll be able to tell you what your prospects are for receiving damages in the case.