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Medical Malpractice: Frequently Asked Questions

December 29, 2023

At Ragain & Clark, we’ve been helping medical malpractice victims get the compensation they deserve for over four decades. We understand the challenges that people face when they suffer as a result of negligent medical treatment and we know that the questions can be overwhelming. If you suspect that you are a victim of medical malpractice, a medical malpractice lawyer can answer your questions, help you understand your options, and provide you with whatever guidance you need. 

Can Only Doctors Be Sued for Malpractice? 

Doctors and any other healthcare providers can be held liable for medical malpractice, including the following: 

How Do I Know I Have a Malpractice Claim?

In most cases, it can be very difficult for non-lawyers to tell whether or not they are the victims of medical malpractice. This is because there is no guarantee of a successful outcome and side effects and complications can be common. You will likely need professional guidance in order to determine whether you have suffered harm due to medical malpractice such as a doctor or a medical malpractice lawyer. It is important to listen to your body and seek help when you need it. Here are some symptoms you should not ignore: 

  • Swelling, fever, or other signs of infection
  • Your healing and recovery is taking much longer than anticipated
  • You are experiencing significant pain
  • You have experienced significant side effects or complications that were not previously discussed

How Can I Afford to Hire a Lawyer?

Most, if not all, medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they are paid a portion of whatever compensation they recover on your behalf. In other words, their compensation is contingent upon winning your case. It also means that you do not pay any legal fees up-front or out-of-pocket. That said, you should discuss with your lawyer what costs you will be responsible for, such as filing fees or expert witness fees. You want to be clear on when they will be paid by you and whether they are paid before or after they receive their legal fees. 

What Is My Claim Worth?

The value of your claim will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.  However, the value of your claim will be composed of the following elements: 

  • Any additional medical expenses that you have incurred or will incur as a result of your malpractice
  • Any lost wages or other income caused by the malpractice, including future lost income or loss of earning capacity
  • Any other financial losses or costs caused by the medical malpractice
  • Any pain and suffering you have experienced

Of those elements, pain and suffering is the most difficult to prove, especially for non-lawyers. One of the benefits of working with a medical malpractice lawyer is that they can maximize your recovery. They should be able to provide you with an estimate of what your case is worth at the initial consultation. 

I Signed A Lot of Paperwork, Did I Waive My Right to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim? 

The paperwork that you signed prior to receiving treatment probably included an “informed consent” form. This form serves as an acknowledgment that you understand the risks associated with the treatment, the potential outcomes, and the potential side effects. While this may limit your rights in some ways, it does not shield your medical provider from liability for harm caused by their negligence. Do not, therefore, decide that you cannot pursue a claim because you signed some forms. Instead, contact a medical malpractice attorney to review your case. 

How Long Do I Have to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Both Montana and Wyoming have deadlines by which you must file your claim or you will lose all of your rights. Currently, both require you to file your claim within 2 years of the following, whichever occurs later: 

  1. The date you received treatment; or 
  2. The date you discovered your injury

Do not assume that you have plenty of time as there are exceptions. If you think your provider committed medical malpractice, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. 

If You Have Questions About Medical Malpractice, Ragain & Clark Has Answers 

Medical malpractice victims face an uncertain future. We can answer your questions and clear up some of those uncertainties. Let Ragain & Clark help you take back control of your life – contact us today by calling 406-651-8888 (Billings) or 307-388-6400 (Worland) to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


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