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How We Prove Medical Malpractice

You may have your suspicions, but medical malpractice is extremely difficult to prove. The law firm of Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, has devoted much of the past 30 years to helping families get answers and holding doctors and hospitals accountable.

We have the resources, the trial experience and the perseverance to get justice when medical professionals violate patients' trust and try to cover up their mistakes. We have a long record of favorable results in medical malpractice cases throughout Michigan.

Our attorneys can determine if you have grounds to sue for medical malpractice. Call us today at 866-822-8237 to discuss what happened to you or a loved one.

Medical Detectives

Before accepting any case for representation, our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys complete a multistage investigation, including consultation with leading medical experts to determine if a medical error or mistake caused or contributed to the patient's injuries or death. At times, this can be very difficult, because the doctors who commit the malpractice also write the medical records.

Underreporting or outright failure to report medical errors and mistakes has become a national problem. In a sense, it would be like letting the criminals write the police reports. Our malpractice lawyers use their extensive education, specialized training and decades of experience to gather evidence and get to the bottom of what really happened.

Breach Of The Standard Of Care

Most people are familiar with the first rule of medicine: "Do No Harm." Not all bad outcomes are because of a medical mistake, and we examine each claim very closely to ensure that only meritorious lawsuits are filed. We look for medical errors, mistakes and violations of patient safety rules. All too often, we see patterns in medical injuries that should have been prevented, such as:

  • Doctors who take shortcuts, use improper technique or prescribe the wrong course of treatment
  • Poor communication among medical providers
  • Doctors who don't properly supervise medical students, residents, nurses or other hospital staff
  • Mistakes in lab work or interpretation of test results
  • Doctors driven by money who rush to see as many patients as possible per day, leading to sloppy care or mistakes
  • Doctors who fail to recognize (or even ignore) the patient's signs and symptoms
  • Doctors, nurses and other providers who just don't listen to their patients

Proving Causation

As part of our malpractice investigation, before we step foot in court, we must determine whether the medical error or mistake caused the patients' injuries. While some injuries are obvious, like the surgeon leaving an instrument inside a patient, others are not so obvious. These cases almost always involve extensive expert witness review and medical literature research.

Damages And Compensation

Compensation to an injured person, or his or her family or survivors, is referred to as an award of damages. Damages for medical malpractice injuries or wrongful death can include:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Loss of future income or earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Loss of household services
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress

Economic obstacles: Because of the laws that protect doctors by making malpractice claims so expensive to pursue, some malpractice cases are not economically viable to pursue.

Liens: Most health care is initially paid for by the patient's health insurance or a government program. Before the patient receives a penny of any jury verdict, those insurance companies and the government usually have to be paid first. One of our jobs is to determine if there is a lien that can be asserted and, if so, to negotiate to maximize the client's recovery.

Insurance coverage: Many doctors carry more insurance coverage on their fancy cars than they do on their medical practices. Worse, many insurance companies won't let the doctors admit they were wrong and accept responsibility for their actions. Instead, they force the case to trial and try to confuse juries with excuses — smoke-and-mirror defenses filled with medical jargon that only serve to make the errors and mistakes seem complicated and confusing. Our success in the courtroom has come, in part, by revealing the deception used in defending medical malpractice cases.

We Know Medical Malpractice Law

Victims of medical negligence need the assistance of attorneys with detailed knowledge of the current law and previous court rulings. Our lawyers don't merely know the law, they teach it. This includes educating clients about their legal remedies and how we prove medical malpractice.

We welcome case referrals from other firms, and our attorneys are available as local counsel for medical malpractice litigation in Michigan.

The Ann Arbor medical malpractice attorneys of Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, can be reached by phone at 866-822-8237 or through our convenient online contact form.