The most important part of a medical malpractice case
The first – and most important – step in any medical malpractice case comes before a lawsuit is filed, and before a lawyer even agrees to take the case.
The first, most important step is identifying whether any medical provider acted negligently. Obviously, injuries, illnesses, and even death can and often do occur despite excellent care and treatment by doctors and nurses.
We have two equally important goals: (a) to hold medical providers accountable for actual malpractice and (b) not to blame doctors and nurses for outcomes they’re not responsible for. We at Bell Law Firm share both goals. Most of our clients share both goals. In fact, our clients commonly apologize for calling us – starting out by saying, “I’m not the sort of person to file a lawsuit, but….” Even having been seriously harmed, many of our clients start by urging us to be rigorously fair in evaluating the actions of the medical providers. Even suffering permanent injuries, our clients often go out of their way to make sure they don’t end up suing a doctor or nurse who did nothing wrong.
In addition to simple decency and fairness, more practical reasons make it important to fairly, objectively evaluate whether malpractice actually occurred. From the client’s point of view, it would only prolong and compound suffering, if we brought a lawsuit that ended up losing. A lawsuit usually takes years, and it causes heartache to go through a lawsuit and lose. From the point of view of Bell Law Firm, in addition to the emotional hurt of losing, a medical malpractice lawsuit takes a lot of time and money to pursue. These cases take hundreds or thousands of hours of work, and they require extensive consultation with (expensive) medical experts. A case may require $200,000 or more in out-of-pocket expenses, before we ever get the case to trial. If we lose, the combined losses — emotional harm to clients and to us, and the practical loss of time and expenses — are huge.
Even so, where a medical provider really has committed malpractice, it is important — to all of us — to hold the provider accountable. The safety of each of us, the safety of our moms and dads, our sons and daughters, depends on medical providers acting carefully and responsibly. If medical providers see that they can act carelessly and escape responsibility for that, even when it gravely hurts one of us, then it becomes that much easier for medical providers to act carelessly again. The best way of preventing ourselves from being hurt by future malpractice is to hold medical providers accountable for past malpractice.
So before we ever take a case, we do everything we can to perform a serious, objective, careful analysis — find out for sure whether there was or was not actual medical malpractice. We consult multiple medical experts to get their full, candid opinions. We make a point of telling those experts what we said a moment ago — that it is equally valuable to learn that there was not malpractice as to learn that there was malpractice. This caution is not really necessary, because it’s a rare doctor needs to be told to be fair in evaluating the actions of other doctors. But we emphasize this caution anyway. So by the time we take a case and file it in court, we will have vetted it thoroughly and subjected it to critical scrutiny from every angle. Only if the case holds up under that scrutiny will we file it in court. This means, of course, that we turn down most potential cases we look at.
If you or a loved one have been hurt by what might have been medical malpractice, please contact us today. We will objectively, fairly investigate. If our investigation shows that there was not medical malpractice, we will tell you so. That news will at least give you some comfort in knowing that the injury did not come needlessly from someone else’s irresponsibility. But if our investigation show there really was malpractice, we’ll do what we can to help.