How Medical Law Attorneys Help Victims of Negligence and Malpractice
Examples of medical malpractice include when a preventable birth injury leads to the permanent impairment of a child or a baby, or if a child loses their arm because of the incorrect insertion of an intravenous drip. Another example is where a patient’s bladder is attached to her womb during a Caesarean delivery.
If the above examples sound unreal, read the newspapers. Many more such instances occur daily in South Africa. Although most doctors provide medical care according to the acceptable industry standard, there are those who simply do not follow the correct procedures, which then leads to injuries of patients.
In such instances, the services offered by attorneys who specialise in medical law become extremely valuable. Attorneys who specialise in medical law understand the legal proceedings and know which documents are needed for supportive evidence in malpractice lawsuits. They seek medical opinions from a panel of experts to help determine whether the care provided has been according to an acceptable standard in the particular medical field. The medical law attorneys also represent clients in the court, seek out-of-court settlements where possible, and request records from hospitals and doctors as needed.
How Medical Law Attorneys Can Help You
If you have suffered serious injury as the result of a misdiagnosis, lack of proper care, no follow-ups, or mistakes made by medical professionals, you have the right to seek compensation. You can be awarded compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of earnings, emotional and physical pain and trauma, and loss of life amenities.
You should have the right to compensation if you, for instance, consider the expenses of having to take care of a child that is disabled because of a medical mistake. However, medical law cases can be complicated, and it is imperative that your situation meets the requirements for a malpractice case. To this end, you can also appreciate the expertise offered by medical law attorneys in determining the merits of your case.
Requirements for Malpractice
For one, there must have been a doctor-patient relationship and therefore a duty to care. In addition, the action or lack thereof by the healthcare professional must have been the direct reason for the injury and damages suffered. In other words, the level of care was substandard.
The medical law attorneys will look at your particular case in relation to the above requirements. Evidence is collected in the form of hospital and medical records. Expert medical witnesses are called in to testify. Lastly, proof of your expenses is submitted. Such expenses also include loss of earnings and the cost of on-going care.
You can approach the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to complain about the actions of a healthcare worker to ensure disciplinary steps are taken against the professional. However, if you want financial restitution for the injuries and damages suffered, it is best to speak to experienced medical law attorneys. Call Adele van der Walt Incorporated to help you determine the merits of your case.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – January 2019.