The lawyers in my law firm Hajek, Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis and Appleton exclusively handle injury and wrongful death cases and only do them on behalf of the injured people and families never the insurance companies.
We are always tying to continue our legal education to make sure to do the very best job possible in court in the complicated area of medical malpractice lawsuits. When I was at a convention recently of the American Association for Justice, the National Plaintiff’s Lawyers’ Group, I got a copy of an excellent book which describes a method of trying to keep the complicated subject of medical malpractice and surgical errors as simple as possible. The idea is to make clear to a judge and a jury so that the injured person wins their case. The book is called the Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyers Guide To Proving Liabilityby Rick Freidman and Patrick Malone.
Because medicine is so complex sometimes the lawyer helping a family whose loved one has been killed by an error in a hospital operating room may let the issues become so confusing that the insurance company wins the lawsuit. Confusion about the medical malpractice may mean the family does not get fair compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one. The “Rules” provides a method to help plaintiff’ personal injury attorneys win more of these complicated, medical malpractice cases by keeping things clear and simple. For example, there is a common sense rule of surgery that the doctor should never cut any part of the patient’s anatomy in the operating room without being sure what it is before he cuts it. This rule of surgery is so basic that every doctor and medical expert should agree to it. If the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer can show that the surgeon in fact failed to know what it was that he was cutting, then a strong pattern of medical malpractice can be shown.
Our law firm has seen many cases of surgical errors where the doctor has cut something in the plaintiff’s body without confirming what he was cutting properly first. In these types of lawsuits, it is helpful for the attorney working for the injured person’s family to show the medical mistake as simply as possible by establishing a clear rule that was violated, because complexity and confusion will only help the insurance defense lawyer to win the case if the judge or jury does not understand exactly what the doctor should have done. This technique keeps the jury focused on exactly what the doctor should have done and failed to do rather than worrying about such general legal terms as the reasonably prudent doctor standard which is too vague to really mean anything to the jury.
It is hard to summarize all of the great ideas in this super book in this short article. Suffice to say that by continuing out legal education and going to the best seminars offered by the Trial Lawyers’ Associations in Virginia (VA), North Carolina (NC), and nationally, we are constantly trying to improve our skills in trying medical malpractice cases. I wish all lawyers trying these cases would do the same and perhaps improve the odds of winning against the medical malpractice insurers. However, I think that by our constantly striving to be the best medical malpractice lawyers in Tidewater, Virginia (VA) we show our clients that we are willing to invest the time and money to separate ourselves from other law firms by the level of our knowledge and skill.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.