Statewide Representation for Victims of Medical Malpractice and Negligence
When you seek medical attention from a professional, you expect to be given the service and the care you need. Regrettably, this does not always happen. If you or your family member has suffered catastrophic injuries due to serious medical mistakes or negligence, our highly experienced Wilmington medical malpractice attorneys at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., are prepared to stand up for your rights.
Helping You Hold Negligent Doctors and Hospitals Accountable for Your Injuries
With decades of legal experience, our team of Wilmington medical malpractice attorneys understands the physical and financial damages you are facing. Our goal is to help our North Carolina clients hold negligent and careless medical care providers accountable for their losses.
Class action suits have many different aspects, and plaintiffs must be prepared to meet several different criteria when filing this type of lawsuit. These requirements and criteria are:
While forms of medical malpractice vary, it is important to understand that you do have legal rights if you believe you or your loved one has been hurt because a doctor, hospital, clinic or another provider failed to meet the established standards of care.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when someone suffers injury, disability, or death due to receiving substandard care. Here are some examples of the many forms of medical malpractice we have encountered at our law firm:
- Misdiagnosis: When doctors misdiagnose a condition, it can have disastrous consequences for patients. Receiving treatments for conditions a patient does not have could worsen their existing situations or put them at greater risk. Some people do not survive misdiagnoses.
- Delayed diagnosis: If a doctor fails to recognize an illness or injury in time, it could have severe consequences for the patient. This is particularly risky in cancer patients as early treatment can significantly raise the chance of survival.
- Surgical errors: Negligence on the part of a surgeon or other medical professional performing surgery could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. This includes a doctor accidentally leaving a surgical instrument in your body after surgery.
- Birth injuries: Birth injuries can include anything from broken bones to cerebral palsy. If a doctor or other healthcare professional makes a mistake during the birthing process, it could have devastating consequences for both mother and baby.
Understanding Medical Malpractice Law and the Standard of Care
Medical malpractice cases are based on the legal concept of negligence. Negligence occurs when a healthcare provider does not deliver the level of care that another healthcare provider under the same circumstances would have reasonably provided. That reasonable level of care is essentially the standard of care that sets the threshold between negligent and acceptable.
Our medical malpractice attorneys can determine the standard of care in your case by consulting medical experts and specialists in the same or similar field of practice. These medical professionals can provide insight into accepted practices, protocols, and procedures applicable to your particular medical situation.
Malpractice cases can also involve recklessness or intentional acts of negligence. For example, a healthcare provider may deliberately withhold essential information or perform a procedure without the patient’s consent.
What Damages Can Victims Recover in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Experts debate whether medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America, but few can disagree that it’s a big problem in need of fixing.
Patients who have been harmed because of malpractice are eligible to file a personal injury claim for damages. When patients do not survive medical errors, eligible family members may pursue compensation in a wrongful death case. Compensation for medical malpractice in North Carolina may include:
Medical expenses can include the cost of medical treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, rehabilitation, and medications related to the injury caused by the doctor’s or hospital staff’s negligence.
In some cases, patients may require lifelong care and assistance, which can be incredibly costly and place a significant financial burden on the patient and their family.
If a patient’s injury or illness took them away from work for an extended period, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and future earning potential. This amount can be calculated by considering the patient’s salary at the time of their injury, and any raises and promotions they might have received had it not been for medical malpractice.
Pain and Suffering
The physical, emotional, and psychological pain caused by medical malpractice can take a significant toll on victims and their families.
Pain and suffering damages compensate patients for these non-economic losses. In addition to compensation for physical pain, we may also be able to seek compensation for other losses, such as emotional anguish and mental trauma.
Sometimes, a judge or jury may find it appropriate to award punitive damages. Courts use punitive damages to punish the defendant for severe acts of negligence.
These awards are rare and typically reserved for cases where the defendant acted with intentional or reckless disregard for the patient’s safety. Punitive damages are designed to prevent similar acts of negligence from occurring in the future.
How Long Can You Wait to File a Claim?
North Carolina law typically requires injured persons or other eligible parties to file a medical malpractice claim within three years. Courts may decline to recognize a case filed after that time.
After a medical malpractice incident, recovery is a top priority. In cases of death, loved ones may need to grieve. It is only natural that you may wish to delay filing a claim. However, the longer you wait, the more difficult it may become to gather evidence or find eyewitnesses who could deliver compelling testimony.
At Rhine Law Firm, P.C., we know the law, and we can help you clearly understand your legal rights and options. Our lawyers will work with you to learn about your situation and, if warranted, will thoroughly investigate your case to help you obtain compensation for medical expenses, income loss, pain and suffering, etc.
We invite you to contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C., at (910) 772-9960 for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Wilmington medical negligence lawyers regarding your legal needs. Our law office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request. We offer Spanish interpretation and translation services.
We are proud to serve the people of North Carolina.
Although our primary office location is in Wilmington, North Carolina we represent clients nationally and across the state of North Carolina. Some of the many areas we serve are listed below.
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