What is Medical Malpractice Medical Negligence?
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a medical mistake, which is often referred to as medical malpractice or medical negligence, then you should understand that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals make mistakes just like everyone else. However, just because they made a mistake does not automatically mean you will recover money for the mistake. We receive lots of calls each year from people who believe their doctors made a mistake and just want them to cover their medical expenses caused by the mistake. In Iowa, there are special laws that apply to medical expenses in medical malpractice cases. Generally, if you have health insurance, that is paid your medical expenses, then you are only allowed to recover your out of pocket expenses like co pays and deductibles. If you can prove malpractice and that the malpractice caused your injuries. Because of this, along with other factors explained below, in our office, we will not even review a medical negligence or medical malpractice case, unless there has been serious and permanent injury or death. Why only review the most serious cases? Under Iowa law in order to even get a medical malpractice case to a jury, other medical professionals usually other doctors, but in nursing negligence cases, it would need to be another nurse have to be hired to testify that there was a breach in the proper standard of care. In many cases, doctors will also have to be hired to testify that as a result of the negligence, the patient sustained injuries. This is what legally is known as causation. As you may imagine, these medical professionals usually charged between $500-$1,000 per hour to review a case, prepare reports and provide testimony. Therefore, if we are going to advance $40,000 or more and expenses, then we want to be sure that there are sufficient damages to make the case worth pursuing. Something else to keep in mind about medical malpractice cases is that people who make up our juries, usually like doctors and nurses, statistically in the last 10 years in Iowa, less than 20% of the medical malpractice cases tried to a jury have resulted in a verdict for a plaintiff. We tell you this not to scare you away if you think that you have a case, but so you know that these cases are rarely easy. There are attorneys who handle smaller cases, and if your injuries are not serious or permanent, then you should consult a another medical malpractice attorney.