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Malpractice Law

Professional, Legal, and Medical Malpractice

If you are in need of a well-qualified malpractice lawyer, call Attorney Search Network today for a free referral to one in your area.

Malpractice law regulates wrongful actions committed by a physician, lawyer, and other professionals that result in injuries of a patient or client. Professionals who commit malpractice are subject to lawsuits from their clients or patients who are attempting to recover damages for their injuries.

Professionals are subject to malpractice lawsuits when they do not exercise solid judgment when performing their professional duties, since professions in which malpractice exists require specialized training and knowledge. Professions in which malpractice can occur include dentistry, architecture, engineering, accounting, and the two areas most likely to lead to lawsuits: medicine and law.

Malpractice Lawsuits

Malpractice is a kind of tort, or a civil wrong that is grounds for a lawsuit by the injured victim in order to receive compensation for damages. Incidents of malpractice must involve the following: an individual whose duty it is to provide care for others, a failure to provide such care, and injury or monetary damages that result from the failure.

Malpractice cases occupy much greyer areas than most tort cases, mainly because it is not always clear what exercising great care truly means since there are often many different ways to treat a patient or tackle a legal problem. During a malpractice lawsuit, experts in the profession often have to testify about whether or not the accused professional’s behavior was not up to par with the industry’s professional standards. It can also be tricky to determine whether the professional’s conduct actually caused the injury to the individual seeking damages, or if other factors would have led to injury anyway.

Medical Malpractice

The most common kind of malpractice lawsuit is for medical malpractice, which most often is caused by a medical professional’s negligence while diagnosing or treating a patient. In previous years, courts examined medical malpractice suits by comparing the defendant’s conduct with the conduct of other physicians where the defendant worked or by comparing it to practices within the defendant’s field of medicine. However, that tactic made it very hard for plaintiffs to win their lawsuits, often because fellow medical professions often did not want to testify against their colleagues. Today, courts hold doctors to a national professional standard that the defendants must meet instead.

A small percentage of medical malpractice lawsuits stem from the intentional misconduct of medical professionals, for instance the improper touching of a patient while he or she is unconscious. Another example of malpractice is if a physician does something, like offer an experimental drug, without the patient’s consent, and in this case without the patient’s knowledge of the potential risks.

In the 1970s and 1980s, insurance costs soared due to insurance companies increasing the cost of medical malpractice insurance after too many malpractice suits were filed. In response, several states passed tort law reforms that restricted medical malpractice suits by limiting the damages that are awarded to plaintiffs and the fees paid to attorneys. Certain states also reduced the amount of time that plaintiffs could take in filing their medical malpractice claims or began to require that plaintiffs send their claims to screening panels that would look over them and try to resolve the issue in the hopes of settling the dispute out of court.

Legal Malpractice

Legal malpractice exists when a client sues a former attorney. The majority of times, clients sue their former attorneys because of an error that the attorney made in court that hurt the client in some way. In order for the client to win the lawsuit, he or she must prove that the result of the previous trial would have been different if it were not for the defendant’s error. In order to prove that, the plaintiff may have to retry the previous case, which can be a very time-consuming and complicated process. More and more, courts are becoming more willing to deem attorneys responsible for harm done to third parties when the damages should have been foreseen. For instance, if an attorney made an error in drafting a client’s will and his/her heirs are harmed as a result.

If you have experienced issues with a professional’s malpractice, whether legal, medical, or a different form, a malpractice lawyer can assist you with any professional malpractice case. Whatever the type of unprofessional conduct, a lawyer can help prove that you were the victim of malpractice and ensure that you recover all damages. Contact Attorney Search Network for a free malpractice attorney referral.

Contact Attorney Search Network for a Lawyer Referral in your local area with Malpractice experience.