While some reasons for medical malpractice claims are quite obvious, others are more subtle. If, for example, a surgeon left a sponge in your abdomen after a surgery, there’s obviously a malpractice case there. However, even a failure to diagnose is a form of malpractice.
If you were suffering from a serious disorder that should have been diagnosed and were harmed as a result of that, you may have a lawsuit. While there are plenty of TV shows that feature truly gifted doctors, every doctor is expected to be competent and, in real life, this is basically the most people will ever need. A doctor who fails to know their field well enough to provide care when it’s needed is in a breech of their duty. If a doctor failed to find something wrong with you that should have been obvious, that sometimes constitutes malpractice.
You have to have been injured to claim physician malpractice. If what a doctor failed to find or their incompetent practices caused you no harm, you don’t have a case. Think of it this way. If a doctor comes into the office and knocks over a table of instruments they need to examine you, inconveniencing you by making you wait until new, sterile instruments can be provided, it’s not malpractice: it’s just an accident that did no one any harm. If the doctor knocks over those instruments, picks them up, uses them on you and you get an infection, you may have a malpractice claim.
A medical malpractice lawyer will help you to quantify your damages. This is part of filing your claim. You’ll have to come to a concrete figure that you believe covers your pain and suffering, as well as any bills you’ve incurred due to improper treatment. There are lawyers who will take these cases on contingency. They’ll do all the work related to putting together the case and, if it doesn’t win or get a settlement, you don’t have to pay them. Unlike many medical procedures, contingency arrangements involve very little risk.