People often wonder why an attorney won’t take an Idaho medical malpractice case, even though the doctor or hospital clearly hurt them. The reality is there is a very high percentage of potential cases where even though the doctor made a mistake, no lawyer can offer my assistance through the legal system. People are often surprised but it is the reality.
In this episode of our podcast, Charlie Hepworth discusses some of the reasons an experienced Idaho medical malpractice attorney decline to assist with your case.
The first reason a lawyer may not take your medical malpractice case is lack of familiarity with handling those cases. They are a very specialized form of case and require the attorney to be familiar with all the law in the jurisdiction where the case arises.
The average personal injury attorney doesn’t handle these cases because of lack of familiarity and an understanding that they present unique, very hard, issues.
What Is Meant By Medical Malpractice?
Medical Malpractice refers to cases where a doctor, hospital employee or other medical professional has made an error while caring for a patient and it has caused a significant injury. It is a specialized form of negligence.
What Other Reasons Are There Why An Attorney Won’t Take An Idaho Medical Malpractice Case?
A second reason is cost. The law requires proof through the testimony of expert witnesses. Those expert witnesses are typically hired by the law firm to provide testimony. The experts who testify in Medical Malpractice cases are practicing physicians who charge significant amounts for time spent dealing with a Medical Malpractice case.
It’s not unusual for the cost incurred to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, if not more than 100 thousand dollars. It’s not the attorney’s fees, it’s out-of-pocket costs.
A further reason is cases are mostly handled on a contingent fee basis. Medical Malpractice cases, at least in Idaho, don’t typically settle early on. It’s going to require a significant investment of time and money on the part of the law firm as well as knowledge of how to handle the case. It can take a couple of years without payback. And the lawyer can be advancing substantial financial resources to pay for the experts and other litigation costs. It’s financially very challenging.
In addition, even if a doctor very clearly committed negligence, the expense and time means that the injuries have to be severe for a case to move forward. There is at times a clear error but the damages are relatively small. In those cases, the cost and expense prevent the injured person from getting justice. These are very frustrating situations.
Let’s say I’m a victim of Medical Malpractice. Should I call an attorney?
If you feel you’ve suffered a significant injury as a result a medical error, then yes. Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Boise ID. Our lawyers talk with people daily who have situations that might be medical malpractice and we don’t charge for the time.
The reality is there is a very high percentage of potential cases where, for some reason, we are not able to offer my assistance as the retained attorney. Probably more than 98%.
But, our goal is to try to take the time to explain what it is about their situation that prevents us from being able to help. It’s good for the prospective client to have that conversation and learn why or why not the case lends itself to the next step, which is hiring a lawyer.
It’s a cost-free undertaking to contact a Surgery Malpractice Lawyer Boise ID and have a conversation. A free consultation is always worth your while.
Should I Report To The Authorities Or The Hospital?
Often I advise people I can’t help to contact the risk management office of the hospital and explain what happened and make them aware of the issue. Perhaps the hospital will offer to write off the bill or perhaps they’ll offer some other resolution that makes sense. The risk management department of the hospital is charged with handling situations from dissatisfied patients. I think that can be beneficial.
The next option is to contact the Idaho Board of Medicine. If someone calls and complains about an experience they had, the board will conduct an investigation to determine whether action needs to be taken. The limitation is that it’s confidential. The complaining party won’t be told what was done in the investigation or the outcome. However, it provides the dissatisfied patient with an opportunity to voice their complaint. Also, if you’re going to file a lawsuit against a doctor or a hospital, Idaho law requires that you start the process by filing a pre-litigation complaint with the Board of Medicine.
If you think you’ve been a victim of medial malpractice, call Attorney Charlie Hepworth for a free consultation at (208) 343-7510
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