Here is list of our most frequently asked questions about cerebral palsy and hiring a cerebral palsy lawyer, with their answers provided below:
- What is medical malpractice?
- Is medical malpractice that common?
- How can I tell if my serious injury is the result of medical malpractice?
- Why should I contact your firm about my concerns?
- How does Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC investigate a malpractice claim?
- What will it cost to hire a lawyer?
- Is there a deadline for pursuing a malpractice claim?
- Will my case settle?
What is medical malpractice?
Medical negligence (also known as medical malpractice) means that a doctor or another health care provider failed to act within the applicable standard of care and this resulted in patient injury.
Although each state may define the term “standard of care” a little differently, generally the term is understood to mean what a reasonable, competent, similarly trained physician would have done under similar circumstances.
Generally speaking, when a doctor or another health care provider fails to act reasonably under the circumstances, and the unreasonable conduct causes medical injury, medical malpractice has occurred.
Is medical malpractice that common?
Unfortunately, yes. A study by the Institute of Medicine (“IOM”), of the National Academies of Science, published a landmark study in 2000 entitled, “To Err is Human.” In that study, the IOM reported that as many as 98,000 people die in American hospitals each year due to medical mistakes. This means that medical mistakes/malpractice is the 8th leading cause of death in America.
How can I tell if my serious injury is the result of medical malpractice?
Not all medical mistakes are malpractice. In order to determine whether a serious injury or death was the result of medical malpractice, you will need to consult lawyers who are experienced with investigating and evaluating similar claims. (Read about some of the results our attorneys have obtained for clients.)
Large amounts of money can be at stake. Take the case of a child born with Cerebral Palsy (CP). It can cost $ 5 Million, if not more, to care for such a child over a lifetime. Likewise, the unexpected death of a mother, father or child can be emotionally and financially devastating to a family.
You owe it to yourself and your family to consult experienced medical malpractice attorneys whenever an unexpected serious injury or death occurs.
Why should I contact your firm?
The law firm of Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, includes doctor/lawyers and a registered nurse/lawyer (Read why you benefit when your lawyer is also a doctor or nurse) who are experienced, successful and dedicated to representing victims of malpractice. (Read about some of the verdicts and settlements our attorneys have obtained for clients.)
How does Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC investigate a malpractice claim?
It all begins with a toll free telephone call 1-866-4LAWDOC (1-866-452-9362) or completing a form. When you contact us, one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will interview you by telephone to find out from you about the nature of the injury, the place of the injury, the date the injury occurred, the names of the health care providers involved, and any other information you already know about the situation prompting you to contact our firm. At this point, our doctor/lawyers make an initial determination as to whether we can be of help to you.
If we believe our services may be appropriate for you, the next step is for the injured person (or his legal representative, such as the mother or father of a minor child) to retain our firm. Unless prohibited by law in a particular state, the firm of Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC works only on a contingency fee basis and covers all the costs of investigating and litigating the matter. In other words, if we do not win your case, you owe us no fees, and no expenses at all.
Once you have hired our firm, we obtain the relevant medical records for our doctor/ lawyers and nurse/lawyer to evaluate for malpractice. If our health care provider/lawyers conclude that you have a valid malpractice claim, then we work to retain highly credentialed and experienced medical experts in the relevant fields of medicine to review the records, with the assistance of our doctor/lawyers and nurse/lawyer, and opine whether malpractice occurred and whether malpractice caused your injuries.
When the outside experts complete their review, we contact our client to discuss the opinions of the experts and how to proceed.
What will it cost to hire a lawyer?
If you hire Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, the cost is nothing unless we win for you.
There are two issues to consider when answering this question: What will the attorney charge for his services and who will pay for the expenses of investigating the matter.
(A) Attorneys Fees:
The “contingency fee” agreement is the key to the courthouse for ordinary people. Under such an agreement, the law firm is paid a percentage of a recovery; therefore, if there is no recovery for the client, the lawyer does not get paid. The contingency fee agreement makes sure that the client’s interests and the lawyer’s interests are one-in-the-same – to obtain the maximum recovery allowed by law.
Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC strongly believes in contingency fee agreements, and thus if you hire us you will owe the firm nothing unless we win for you. When we represent clients outside of Maryland and the District of Columbia, we associate with skilled local counsel (and if suit is filed, obtain permission of the applicable court). This association is at no additional legal fees to you – the client.
(B) Case Expenses:
Pursuing a medical malpractice case is usually very, very expensive. For example, in order to maximize the chances for a successful and very substantial recovery in a birth injury case, the firm of Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC typically retains experts in obstetrics, neonatology, pediatric neurology, pediatric neuroradiology, pediatrics, placental pathology, obstetrical nursing, vocational rehabilitation, life care planning, and economics. This can cost more than $150,000 per case.
We know our clients cannot afford these expenses. Therefore, we advance all the costs of investigating and prosecuting your claim because we have confidence in the abilities of our doctor/lawyers and nurse/lawyer.
Unless precluded by law in the relevant state, you will not have to reimburse our firm for these litigation expenses unless we win for you.
Is there a deadline for pursuing a malpractice claim?
YES. Each state has its own deadline for bringing a legal claim. These deadlines are referred to as “statutes of limitations.” If the negligent health care provider is employed by the government, or is a government hospital, even shorter deadlines may apply.
The applicable deadlines vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and can be affected by who is bringing the lawsuit. For example, in many states a minor child will have a longer period of time to bring a lawsuit than an adult. Nevertheless, some substantial rights may be lost if the suit is not filed within the parent’s deadline.
If you suspect medical malpractice, Do not wait. Consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney right away. Nothing is more discouraging than to hear these words from an attorney, “I think you had a valid claim but I can’t help you now because you waited too long to contact me.”
Will my case settle?
In fact, most medical malpractice cases do settle out of court, but settlement must never be the attorney’s objective. Only when the defendants’ insurance company is convinced that your attorneys have put together a strong case, supported by well-credentials and credible medical experts, and that your attorneys have the skill, experience and nerve to put your case successfully before the jury, will your attorneys be in the position to negotiate the best possible settlement of your claim.
Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, have the experience and reputation necessary to maximize the settlement potential of your case. More importantly, should the matter not settle, our attorneys have the proven track record of obtaining record jury verdicts. Click here to see some of our featured verdicts and settlements.*
* Because the facts of each case are unique, past results are not a guarantee as to the outcome in any future case.