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Medical Malpractice

Some Things to Consider if You Are Reluctant to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim

July 17, 2023

We trust our doctors with our health and ultimately, our lives. For this reason, many of us have formed deep connections with our physicians, developed over years or possibly even decades. As a result, it can be difficult to admit when they have failed us. It can be even more difficult to pursue a claim against them. This can be a very difficult decision, but unfortunately, making the wrong decision can have a profound impact on your future. If you think you have suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can walk you through this decision so that you can do what is best for you and your family. 

It Isn’t Personal

The first thing you should keep in mind is that your decision to pursue a claim does not reflect on the doctor’s character or even their abilities as a physician. There are many reasons why they may have committed malpractice, from being overworked and tired or rushing through their examination. Even the best physicians can make mistakes, but conscientious doctors will accept responsibility when those mistakes could have been avoided. This means, and often includes, situations where their mistakes result in serious harm to their patients.

Medical malpractice lawyers do not counsel their clients to pursue medical malpractice claims in order to air their grievances or harm the physician’s reputation. They counsel their clients to pursue a claim in order to recover the compensation they will need to pay for the economic and other losses they have suffered as a result of the malpractice. In other words, the decision to sue a doctor for malpractice should not be based on personal animosity toward the physician but based on your need to protect your future. 

Doctors Carry Malpractice Insurance for This Reason

Many patients are unaware that their doctors have malpractice insurance to protect them against claims or do not understand how it will affect their case. Generally speaking, malpractice insurance will cover any claims plus the cost of defense (i.e. legal fees and costs) if the doctor is sued for medical malpractice. As a result, it is unlikely that your doctor will have to pay any out-of-pocket costs if they are found liable in your malpractice case. 

The role of malpractice insurance also means that you will be dealing primarily with the insurance company and its attorneys. In fact, they will decide whether to settle your claim and for how much or whether the case should go to trial. Doctors often are troubled by how malpractice insurance carriers handle their claims, either in denying claims that they believe are appropriate or in settling claims where they believe they did nothing wrong. Ultimately, your doctor may only be minimally involved in the case and will likely have very little say in its outcome. This can provide some relief for clients who are reluctant to pursue a malpractice claim. It is also why you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible – they can help you navigate the claim process as quickly and economically as possible. 

Your Health Insurance Will Not Cover Many of Your Losses    

Many patients make the mistake of assuming their health insurance will provide adequate protection. Your health insurance will only cover the follow-up medical treatment you will need as a result of the malpractice. While this is better than nothing, keep in mind that you may still have to pay significant copays and deductibles. In addition, your health insurance will not cover the following: 

  • Your lost wages – you could lose significant income if you have to undergo additional treatment and recovery. Your losses could be even greater if you suffer permanent disabilities.
  • Your pain and suffering – you are entitled to compensation for the mental anguish and physical pain you experience as a result of the malpractice, especially if it significantly affects your ability to live your daily life. 

To make the right decision, you need to understand the extent of your losses. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you estimate your total losses at your initial consultation. 

Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Ragain & Clark Today

The decision to pursue a medical malpractice claim against your doctor is not an easy one. We can walk you through it at a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us today at 406-651-8888 (Billings) or 307-388-6400 (Worland) or contact us online to schedule your appointment.


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