Protecting Yourself from Medical Negligence

When we experience illness or injury, we rely on the expertise of the doctors and nurses at the hospital or physician’s office to take the proper steps to diagnose us. In doing so properly, they are then able to issue a treatment plan that will get us on the road to recovery in no time. Doctors and nurses are only human, however, and sometimes mistakes occur. Other times, the doctors and nurses can be careless in our treatment and the ending result is defined as medical negligence. When something goes untreated or is misdiagnosed, it can result in pain and suffering, or worse in fatalities.

What is Considered Medical Negligence?

In a perfect world, we would reasonably expect to be diagnosed and treated properly. However, medical negligence happens more often than it should and can include any of the following:

  • Unnecessary surgery performed
  • Serious infections
  • Hospital error
  • Mistakes with medication (too strong of a dose, issuing a medication that patient is allergic to, etc)
  • Not performing life-saving procedures

Medical negligence is not limited to a doctor’s office or hospital. There are many other places that it can occur, including:

  • Your local pharmacy
  • Surgery site
  • Dentist office
  • Physician’s office (plastic surgeon, specialty offices)
  • Home Care

It is important for the victims to understand what defines medical negligence so that they can get the care they need, when they need it. In addition, most medical negligence cases can be brought to trial or at least settled out of court to ensure that the victims get their necessary compensation.

How to File a Medical Negligence Case

The first thing that a person must do is to ensure that they keep all of their medical records that pertain to the negligence incident. Contacting a personal injury attorney is your next step. You want to present all of your medical files to your lawyer who will review them. Choose an attorney who has several years of experience in the industry and can prove that they have settled or won a good percentage of the cases they take on.

Once you provide the evidence of the medical malpractice, your lawyer will follow up with the attorneys of the doctor or hospital who was responsible for the malpractice or negligence incident. It is important that you do not communicate with the doctor or the doctor’s or hospital’s lawyer and refer all matters to your own personal injury attorney. Intimidation may be used, but as long as you let your attorney handle the matter, your interests are still protected.

Your personal injury attorney will likely try to settle the case out of court, rather than go to trial, which can be more costly for all parties involved. However, if the doctor or hospital refuses to settle, the case could take a long time to resolve. Your lawyer will keep you up to date on all proceedings and will not take any settlements without your approval.

If you have been a victim of medical negligence, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney to ensure that you are taken care of. Contact our San Diego personal injury attorneys today by calling (619) 325-7555 or visiting us online at

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What Happens in Legal Proceedings

Personal injury law is an enormous field and encompasses many different types of accidents. The purpose of contacting an attorney after a substantial accident is to ensure that you obtain the appropriate compensation for the injuries you might have sustained. Legal proceedings are very common in the personal injury field and lawyers will not typically take on your case if they do not think you have a chance of winning. It may take a while before legal proceedings begin as all technicalities and the appropriate steps must be addressed. The most important thing is to work with an attorney that keeps you up to date on the status of the case and for you to supply the attorney with the necessary information to proceed.

Personal Injury Legal Proceedings

There are two types of common proceedings. One is known as an informal settlement, which is the most common way that personal injury cases are settled. If through negotiations, both parties are unable to reach a settlement, then the case may be filed as a formal lawsuit which tries the case in front of a judge and jury.

  • Settlements – In the proceedings that follow for a settlement, both of the parties – the plaintiff (injured) and the defendant (responsible party) and their respective attorneys and insurance companies meet. Negotiations usually take a bit of time, with both parties offering different settlement terms. Once a settlement is reached, however, both parties will sign a written agreement. The written agreement will outline the terms of the settlement and agree to forego any other type of legal action such as a formal lawsuit.
  • Lawsuits – in the event that the personal injury case cannot be solved through negotiation and a subsequent settlement, the personal injury lawyer will advise whether it is worth it to bring the case before a court. In this event, the parties will no longer negotiate, although it is not uncommon to settle the case midway through the proceedings if the evidence is sufficient enough. In a lawsuit, the evidence is presented in front of a judge, jury or both – depending on the type of lawsuit that is filed – and each party has the opportunity to present their case. The judge or jury will determine the amount of the settlement if the plaintiff is successful in presenting their evidence and proving that the defendant was, in fact, responsible for the injuries sustained.

Evidence is a crucial part of any personal injury case because your personal injury lawyer has to have all of the details about the case. How did they injury happen, are there lasting results? These are important questions that will define the amount of the settlement. In cases where fatalities occur or where there is an ongoing need for medical care, settlements tend to be higher than those where the injuries were minor. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer will give you an indication as to where you stand with your case. Knowing what to expect is part of the surrounding of any legal proceeding, especially in cases where you have been injured.

Contact our San Diego personal injury attorneys today by calling (619) 325-7555 or visiting us online at

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