Contact for Free Attorney Information Packet
 

More Tips On Finding a Good Malpractice Lawyer (Part II)

April 18th, 2018

When you go to a big law firm, or one that is headed a famous lawyer, the chances you will get the “big gun” to handle your medical malpractice or dental malpractice case are slim, unless you have a very big case or a class-action suit.  You will probably be directed to one of the other members of the firm, who will handle your case from beginning to end.  Chances are that none of the other lawyers in the firm will work on it or even meet with you.

The lawyers in a firm are divided into partners, who are the owners and experienced lawyers.  Associates are employees and trainees.  If the lawyer assigned to your case is an associate, it means you have the second team.  Lawyers usually do not gain the skills and experience to become partner much under the age of 40.  You should be aware of this, if you are turned over to a young attorney in a large law firm.

There are a number of reasons why a law firm would hand off your medical malpractice case or dental malpractice case to an associate.  Maybe they want to bring him along, so he will become a skilled malpractice lawyer.  Maybe they do not think much of your case, and the senior partners do not want to waste time on it.  A good lawyer charges hundreds of dollars an hour, and medical malpractice and dental malpractice are not considered legal charity work.  No matter how strongly you feel about your case, your lawyer regards it as an investment and money-making venture.  Like any other investment, he has to see enough, potential pay-off to justify the time and money he will spend.  You cannot expect a senior partner to spend months preparing your case, if it is not likely to earn him a large fee.

 The Rule Is: If you find yourself talking to an associate or a young lawyer, ask him who will be in charge of your case.  Insist on talking to that person.  If you get the run around, or it is not someone to your liking, consult other law firms until you find a lawyer you like.  No matter how large the law firm, or how famous the senior partner, you are dealing with one individual lawyer.  If he makes an error in your case, the names on the letterhead, and the elegant office, will not do you any good.  It is your case, and your money, and there is no second prize if you lose.

Since 1978, JD.MD, Inc. has proudly served the U.S. and Canadian legal communities in helping determine if a malpractice case has merit.  Malpractice lawyers can contact us at jdmd.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-225-5363.

Tips on Finding a Good Malpractice Lawyer

March 27th, 2018

Tips on Finding a Good Malpractice Lawyer

Malpractice Lawyer image  It may be difficult to find a doctor-lawyer to handle your case.  However, you should certainly look for a lawyer, who has experience with medical malpractice or dental malpractice cases and has a winning record. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding a Competent Lawyer

March 20th, 2018

Finding a Competent Lawyer

Law  Any licensed lawyer can handle a legal problem, but many lawyers do not have the background, financial resources, or experience to handle a medical or dental malpractice case successfully.  A lawyer who does not have a solid understanding of medical malpractice or dental malpractice, and the issues in your case, is unlikely to guide you safely through the maze of problems that will arise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Finding a Medical or Dental Malpractice Lawyer

January 16th, 2018

Finding a Medical or Dental Malpractice Lawyer

Now that you have determined you were injured by a doctor’s negligence, do you go to his office or write him a letter saying: “Your negligence has caused me terrible suffering and financial loss.  Have your insurance company get in touch with me to discuss a settlement.”  No.  The doctor will only show you the door and call his malpractice insurance company.  He may even try to talk you out of suing him.  Or, an adjuster from his insurance company may go to your home and get you to sign away your rights for a small, quick settlement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Leave Out Defendants?

September 29th, 2017

Medical & Dental Malpractice – Should You Leave Out Defendants?

What if you like one of the doctors and do not want to sue him, or your relative works for the hospital where you were a patient and you do not want to cause trouble by suing the hospital?  Can you leave them out, even though they were partly responsible?  Can you pick out one doctor, whom you dislike, sue him, and leave everybody else alone?

Read the rest of this entry »

What if You or Your Lawyer Sue the Wrong Doctor?

September 22nd, 2017

What if You or Your Lawyer Make a Mistake and Sue the Wrong Doctor?

It can happen.  If your case was complicated, or your treatment involved several doctors, it can be confusing and will require the assistance of medical experts or dental experts to sort it out and identify the real culprits.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why Not Sue Everybody in a Medical or Dental Malpractice Case?

September 15th, 2017

Why not sue everybody in a medical or dental malpractice case?  There are several reasons, to list just a few:

You do not want to sue innocent people.  These are called harassment suits.  They are not ethical, and they usually fail.  In some states, they can also expose you to a countersuit by the doctor or an assessment of costs by the court for bringing a frivolous lawsuit.  More importantly, if you go into court suing a number of people, especially if some of them are obviously innocent, you will prejudice the jury against you and appear to be a quarrelsome person, who does not deserve anything.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can Medical Professionals Be Sued Individually for Medical Malpractice?

August 15th, 2017

Can Medical Professionals Be Sued Individually for Medical Malpractice?

Some nurses (CRNA’s) are trained and licensed to give anesthesia.  In a New Jersey case, a nurse anesthetist put the breathing tube in a patient’s esophagus instead of the trachea, causing the patient severe and permanent brain damage.  Since she was a hospital employee, the Plaintiff’s lawyer sued the hospital.  But, at that time under New Jersey law, a hospital could only be sued for $10,000 no matter how bad the medical malpractice, or how badly the patient was injured.  This is not enough to pay the costs of the lawsuit if you win, so experienced lawyers sue the hospital employees personally.  As a result, most hospital unions make the hospitals give their members personal malpractice insurance.

Read the rest of this entry »

What if the Doctor I am Suing has a Partnership or a Professional Corporation?

June 21st, 2017

What if the Doctor I am Suing has a Partnership or a Professional Corporation?

If a member of a medical group commits malpractice, can you sue all of his partners, even though they had nothing to do with the mishap?  Yes.  The law holds that when a doctor benefits from another doctor’s actions, he can also be held responsible for them.  Since all members of the medical group benefit from the activities of every other member, they are all responsible for his malpractice, and it does not matter whether they have a partnership, or organized as a professional corporation (with the letters P.C. or P.A. after their names), or work together without any formal arrangement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Captain of the Ship Doctrine or Borrowed Servant Doctrine Apply in Your Case?

April 3rd, 2014

You may be asking: “What is the difference between the Captain of the Ship Doctrine and the Borrowed Servant Doctrine?” when it comes to determining who is responsible in a medical malpractice or dental malpractice case.

Captain of the Ship Doctrine

Under the Captain of the Ship Doctrine, the doctor is responsible for everything that happens while he is in charge, whether it was done by people under his control or not.  If another surgeon comes in to help him and makes a mistake, he can still be held responsible, even though the other doctor is a fully-qualified specialist.  This doctrine imposes more responsibility on the doctor than the Borrowed Servant Doctrine; however, a lot of states do not recognize it.

Borrowed Servant Doctrine

Under the Borrowed Servant Doctrine, a doctor is only responsible for the people under his supervision and control.  Under this doctrine, he cannot be held responsible for the actions of another specialist.

Agents

If a doctor or hospital has the authority to control someone else, that person may be his agent or the hospital’s agent, and the doctor or hospital can be held liable for the agent’s actions.  They may be in different locations and have never met.  What matters is the Authority to Control, not actual control.

In a Colorado malpractice case, a ski instructor suffered a broken knee on the slopes.  The municipality where he was injured had an arrangement with a Denver hospital that all accident cases would be taken to the office of a local pediatrician, who would give emergency treatment, and send the patient on to the Denver hospital.  Even though the man asked to be taken to a nearby orthopaedic surgeon, the rescue squad took him to the pediatrician, who manipulated the knee, tearing the ligaments, and causing permanent damage.  When the man sued, the Denver hospital claimed that its contract was with the town, and the hospital had no control over the pediatrician.  But, the court held that the pediatrician was acting as the hospital’s agent, because the hospital had the authority to tell the pediatrician to send it all injured people brought in by the rescue squad.  The jury awarded the plaintiff damages against all three: the pediatrician, the hospital, and the municipality.

In a New York case, a heart specialist engaged a retired doctor to make follow-up visits to his patients in the hospital and at home, as they were convalescing.  The arrangement was that the retired doctor would charge the patients directly for his services and could be completely independent.  The retired doctor missed signs of a recurring heart attack in an elderly lady and she died.  The heart specialist claimed that he was not responsible for the doctor, who was an independent physician.  But, the court held that the retired doctor was acting as the heart specialist’s agent, because the specialist had the authority to tell him how to treat his patients.

It can be difficult to determine who exactly was at fault in your client’s medical malpractice case.  JD.MD can help you.  Contact us today at 800-225-5363 for an initial case evaluation or a medical expert’s opinion.

     
Download our Free Medical & Dental Abbreviations Glossary