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While you would hope that medical procedures are only completed by well-trained professionals and that mistakes are rare, this is not the case. The medical profession is meant to heal, but there are inherent risks to the patient when any medical procedure is completed. Doctors and health care professionals are people, and mistakes can and do happen. This is why both doctors and hospitals carry medical malpractice insurance so that they can engage in the practice of healing without having to worry that their personal finances or those of the hospital will be at risk if a procedure goes wrong.
It would surprise most people to learn that the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical error. Most people don’t know this because medical error is not listed on death certificates, but according to a John Hopkins study, your chance of dying in the United States due to medical malpractice is one in ten. What is more, their study found that over 21 percent of patients report experience with medical errors, which means nearly one in four patients will have an injury due to a medical mistake in their lifetime. These injuries from malpractice lead to many patients filing claims against physicians or medical providers, called medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a preventable medical error, contact the St. George medical malpractice attorneys at We Win Injury Law. We have significant experience helping clients injured in medical settings and offer a free and confidential case evaluation.
What Exactly is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when negligence is committed by a health care provider such as a doctor, dentist, or nurse, in which the care provided to a patient falls below the generally accepted standards of care which leads to unexpected injury, disability or even death to the patient. Examples of medical malpractice include, but are not limited to, performing cosmetic surgery in a manner that results in disfigurement or other avoidable complications, leaving medical instruments in the body of a patient after a surgery, performing surgery on the wrong area of the body, performing a surgical procedure on the wrong patient, or treating a patient or performing surgery in a way that results in the loss of use of a body part.
When malpractice occurs, the victim (called a Plaintiff once a lawsuit is filed) must prove
- a doctor-patient relationship existed,
- that their medical provider failed to meet the appropriate standard of care,
- that this failure caused the victim’s injuries, and
- that those injuries resulted in damages to the victim. These damages can include economic and non-economic damages, including lost earning capacity, mental anguish, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and lost income.
Although this may seem simple enough to show for a victim in a medical malpractice action, Utah’s malpractice laws have made this process very restrictive and complex to navigate.
Physicians, medical professionals, and insurance companies don’t like having to compensate victims for medical malpractice and have successfully lobbied legislatures across the country to impose damages caps, and Utah is no exception. In fact, in 1996, Utah passed its own damages cap, but went even further by creating a restrictive and complex regulatory malpractice statute that severely limited malpractice patient rights. A damage cap means that there may be a limit to the amount of compensation you are able to collect. If you receive less than you deserve, you and your family will be left to pay bills associated with your medical malpractice injury. Working with a dedicated personal injury attorney with medical malpractice experience is the best way to ensure you recover the full amounts you are entitled to that is allowed by law.
The Utah Health Care Malpractice Act
That statute is the overly restrictive Utah Health Care Malpractice Act (See Utah Code § 78B-3-401 et al.) The Utah legislature passed this under the guise that it would help Utah’s rising medical costs lower for patients. However, since 1996 this act has never been shown to have accomplished any cost savings to Utah patients, or to doctor malpractice premiums, but has instead shielded doctors and medical providers from liability. It has also led to many patient malpractice claims being dismissed on procedural technicalities resulting in enormous loss to malpractice victims.
As a result of this restrictive statute, victims of malpractice in Utah have a nearly impossible web of complex regulations to navigate. Even with an attorney, navigating these regulations is a time-sensitive and difficult process. These restrictive regulations include a shorter statute of limitations, a damages cap, and very complex pre-litigation process. For more information about the restrictive Utah Healthcare Malpractice Act, see our article on “Understanding Utah’s Restrictive Medical Malpractice Laws”.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our attorneys at We Win Injury Law stay up to date on the complexities and changes required to preserve and file your claim for medical malpractice. On top of that, it helps that we win! If you have any questions concerning what to do after a medical malpractice case, or what option are available to you, contact us immediately to have your questions answered.
Our firm is client-centered, and we are here for you every step of the way. You might think that your medical malpractice injury is obvious, and the long-term costs being high is also obvious. However obvious your injuries and their costs might be, you will collect nothing unless you have evidence to prove your damages. This evidence must be strong enough that the courts would recognize it if you brought a medical malpractice lawsuit to collect on your damages. This means the evidence must come from a respected, expert source from a professional in the field.
The doctors and hospital that participated in your medical malpractice injury are not likely to serve as witnesses and sources of evidence against themselves. Your medical malpractice attorney will help overcome this barrier by scheduling follow-ups with medical and occupational experts of your own. These objective third-parties can will provide an accurate measurement of the damages you have experienced. Scheduling these appointments can be difficult given the high demand of such professionals, but the attorneys at We Win Injury Law have established relationships with experts in St. George, and we will get you seen, and even schedule your appointment for you.
No Win, No Fees Guarantee
Our promise to you is that we guarantee that you won’t pay us a dime until we settle your medical malpractice case or receive a jury verdict. While we can’t take every case that we review, those that we do take only lead to us being paid if we reach a settlement or achieve victory in court on your case if a fair settlement cannot be reached. This is because if we take your personal injury case, we will take it on contingency. This means that we only get paid if we win on your case, out of a portion of the earnings that we’ll agree upon before getting started. You will pay nothing up-front for your risk-free, cost-free consultation, and you will pay nothing out-of-pocket, ever.
Your medical malpractice injury may have put your life on hold, and impacted your ability to enjoy your old hobbies or to return to work. To determine whether you have a case, and how much it might be worth, schedule a consultation or call the experienced personal injury attorneys from We Win Injury Law at (877) 939-4646 to discuss options on how we can help you make the most of your claim or case.