Healthcare malpractices happen more often than you might think. It could be anything from your doctor prescribing the wrong medication to a mix-up at the hospital that leads to you getting surgery you didn’t need. In some cases, the consequences of these errors can be life-threatening or even deadly.
According to John Hopkins, 250,000 Americans succumb to death every year due to medical errors. Imagine being cleared for cancer only to find out later that your oncologist made a mistake in your diagnosis. Unfortunately, it is a reality for some people, and it’s one of the reasons why healthcare law exists.
- What is Healthcare Law?
As the law that regulates the healthcare industry, healthcare law is a complex and ever-changing beast. It covers everything from patient rights to medical cannabis. If there’s anything remotely related to health, there’s a good chance it falls under the healthcare law.
- Who is a Healthcare Lawyer?
Standing at the intersection of law and medicine, healthcare lawyers are uniquely positioned to help patients whom the system has wronged. They understand the legal and medical aspects of a case. They can help their clients navigate the often-confusing world of healthcare.
Healthcare lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help patients get the compensation they deserve for issues like mesothelioma, birth injuries, or nursing home abuse. Patients and families often struggle to find the right lawyer for their cases. However, there are resources like sokolovelaw.com that help you select the best lawyer, depending on your case and location.
- What Laws Must a Healthcare Lawyer Know?
Healthcare lawyers in the US follow all laws related to healthcare which are constantly changing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is one such law that has been in the news lately.
Enacted in 2010, the ACA was designed to increase the quality and affordability of healthcare in the United States. Its main goal is to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Americans.
A few other notable laws that healthcare lawyers need to be aware of are:
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act:
This law was enacted in 1996, protecting patients’ confidentiality and privacy. It also sets national standards for electronic healthcare transactions.
- Social Security Amendments of 1965:
This law created Medicare and Medicaid, two government-funded healthcare programs providing insurance for seniors and low-income Americans, respectively.
- The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act:
EMTALA demands hospitals provide treatment to any patient who comes in an emergency. It disregards the patient’s ability to pay.
Ways a Healthcare Lawyer Can Help You:
Suffering from a medical error can be a traumatizing experience. In such circumstances, navigating the legal system can be daunting. That’s where a healthcare lawyer comes in.
We will outline a few ways in which a healthcare lawyer can help you:
- Filing a Complaint
What if you suspect that you or a loved one is the victim of a medical error? The initial step would be to file a complaint with the appropriate state agency. But this can be tricky as each state has different procedures and deadlines.
- Investigating Your Claim
Once your complaint has been filed, the state agency will launch an investigation. During this process, the agency will interview witnesses, gather evidence, and ultimately decide whether or not to take action against the healthcare provider in question. A healthcare lawyer can help you with this process by investigating and gathering evidence to support your claim.
- Filing a Lawsuit
If the state agency decides not to take action or if you are dissatisfied with the investigation’s outcome, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit can be a complex and time-consuming process. It includes filing the correct paperwork, appearing in court, and dealing with opposing counsel. A healthcare lawyer will handle it all for you so that you can focus on your recovery.
- Negotiating a Settlement
If you decide to file a lawsuit, the case will likely be settled out of court. It means that the two parties will come to an agreement without going to trial. But can you be certain that you are getting a fair settlement? Will you be able to negotiate on your behalf? We are afraid not. A healthcare lawyer will have experience negotiating settlements and can fight for a fair resolution to your case.
- Appealing a Decision
Most lawsuits will end in a settlement. But sometimes, the court may rule against you. If this happens, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process is complicated. Since the judge will only look at the evidence presented in the original trial, it is crucial to have a lawyer who knows how to present a strong argument. A healthcare lawyer will be familiar with the appeals process and can help you navigate it successfully.
What Qualities Should You Look for in a Healthcare Lawyer?
It is crucial to find a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in healthcare law. Here are a few qualities to look for:
A good healthcare lawyer will be resilient. The legal process can be long and frustrating. You need a lawyer willing to fight for you, even when the going gets tough.
You’re probably suffering from a lot of physical and emotional pain. You need a lawyer who is compassionate and will understand what you’re going through.
You should be able to communicate openly with your lawyer. After all, they need to know your case’s details to build a strong argument.
Experience is vital when it comes to healthcare law. A lawyer with a strong track record is likelier to get a favorable outcome for your case.
The thirst for knowledge is important in any field but is imperative in healthcare law. This ever-changing field requires a curious lawyer who is always up-to-date on the latest developments.
Since you’re going up against companies with deep pockets and experienced lawyers, you need the best legal assistance possible. You may have suffered from a life-threatening illness or injury. Maybe you’re dealing with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Or perhaps you’re facing lost wages. But if you have a competitive healthcare lawyer by your side, you stand a much better chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
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