Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s mistakes or negligence injures a patient or allows their condition to worsen when adequate care would have helped. If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, then you have the right to seek compensation and justice from the medical team that harmed you. However, due to many legal protections and regulatory clauses, pursuing a successful medical malpractice claim will be more difficult than the average personal injury case.
To understand your options after being hurt by medical malpractice, you should team up with Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C. right away. Our medical malpractice attorneys in Iowa City have more than 60 years of practice experience with a focus on difficult cases brought against challenging opponents, such as medical institutions and practitioners, as well as the insurance companies that defend them. You can trust in our experience and insight to make the most of your case.
On This Page:
- Defining Medical Malpractice
- How Medical Malpractice Happens
- Iowa's Statute of Limitations
- Calculating Medical Malpractice Settlements
- What Are Medical Malpractice Damage Caps?
- Get Full Compensation Today!
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice in Iowa is defined as a situation where a medical professional, including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers, fails to adhere to the accepted standards of practice within the medical community, causing harm to a patient. This can include a wide range of actions or omissions, such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, improper treatment, medication errors, or neglecting patient health. It's important to note that a bad outcome alone does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice. Instead, it must be proven that the healthcare provider's conduct deviated from the standard of care expected and that this deviation directly led to the patient's injury or worsening condition.
Furthermore, medical malpractice only happens in highly specific situations based on the legal definition of it. A poor outcome to treatment is not medical malpractice – not always. Even a mistake that happens during a procedure or treatment regimen is not necessarily medical malpractice if it likely would have happened had another medical provider treated you.
To figure out if you were hurt by medical malpractice, we must consider these four factors:
- Duty of care: In most cases, a doctor-patient relationship must have existed between you and the medical provider or team you have named as the defendant.
- Dereliction: The defendant must have done something opposite or unlike the acceptable standard of medical care that would have been followed by another medical provider.
- Direct cause: The failure to meet or follow that standard of medical care must have been the direct cause of your injury or worsening condition.
- Damage: You must have experienced some form of damage due to that mistake or error, which can be economic or non-economic.
If your case meets all four of these elements of medical malpractice, then it will be time to progress your case. If it does not, then our attorneys may need to investigate further to see if you have a valid claim to pursue. We believe in complete honesty and openness with our clients, so we won’t mislead you if we think your case might not be plausible or if we might not be the best fit for it.
How Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
In general terms, medical malpractice is a harmful mistake caused by a medical provider’s negligence or misconduct. This term is broad, and, so, there are many different types of medical malpractice. Our firm can handle all sorts of cases, and we focus on some of the more common forms.
Let us help you with these types of medical malpractice cases and more:
- Birth injuries: An injury to a newborn child or the child’s mother is a birth injury, which often results in complications that last for the child’s entire life.
- Hospital negligence: Many medical malpractice cases originate from mistakes that happen in hospitals and by various staff members, not necessarily doctors and nurses only.
- Medication errors: Pharmacy and prescription errors can be extremely dangerous. Taking the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage can result in unpredictable side effects.
- Misdiagnosis: Doctors are responsible for diagnosing their patients’ conditions within a reasonable amount of time and with a high degree of accuracy. A failure to do so can constitute medical malpractice if there was more the doctor could have done to complete the diagnosis correctly.
- Surgical errors: In the surgery theater, there are many opportunities for serious mistakes, such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving tools inside a patient, etc.
Is There a Statute of Limitations On Medical Malpractice In Iowa?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Iowa is 2 years. That means that in order to pursue compensation you must file a lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the incident, otherwise you run the risk of your case being dismissed by the court. There are a few exceptions to this rule, particularly if the victim was a child. If you are concerned that time may have run out for you to file a lawsuit, you can reach out to our medical malpractice attorneys today to share your story in a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Are Medical Malpractice Settlements Calculated?
Similar to other personal injury cases, medical malpractice damages are calculated based on the following:
- Financial losses: Medical bills, lost income or wages, lost earning capacity, etc.
- Non-financial losses: Pain and suffering (both physical and mental)
The exact value of your medical malpractice case will depend on the details of your claim. Our legal team can help you determine what your case may be worth. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team today!
What Are Medical Malpractice Damage Caps?
A "Damage Cap" refers to a restriction on how much compensation a victim can receive for non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, etc.). Many states have damage caps on what victims can recover in a medical malpractice claim. However, the state of Iowa does not currently have a damage cap for medical malpractice claims.
Fight for Full Compensation with
Through your medical malpractice claim, you could demand compensation that pays for past and future medical treatment costs, lost wages, and reduced income, as well as all the pain, suffering, and hardships you have and will later endure. But you cannot expect to get that compensation if your case is not well made and if you are not ready for a legal fight. Rather than going through everything yourself and feeling all the stress and pressure of the situation, team up with our Iowa City medical malpractice attorneys right away! We would be happy to handle all aspects of your claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
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