Charlotte Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Medical Malpractice Attorneys Dedicated to Fighting for You in Charlotte

Most of us place a huge amount of faith and trust in the medical professionals who provide us with care. However, if they become negligent and cause you harm, a Charlotte medical malpractice lawyer can help you seek compensation to help you deal with the consequences.

Most healthcare providers honor their responsibility and work to provide effective care to their patients. Unfortunately, not all healthcare professionals ensure the proper care of their patients, whether due to understaffing, overwork, negligence, or even malice. While everyone makes mistakes, our doctors and surgeons are held to the highest standard because the stakes are so high.

When a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or other medical professional fails to perform their duties, and their negligence harms or even kills a patient, it is known as medical malpractice. Being injured by a doctor or healthcare professional whom you placed your trust in can be traumatic and make you feel incredibly vulnerable. You may now be suffering from a painful and debilitating illness or injury.

When these injuries were due to the carelessness of a medical provider, you deserve compensation for this harm. A medical malpractice claim can recover the cost of medical bills, income that you lost during recovery, and the cost of the emotional and physical suffering you’ve gone through. However, medical malpractice claims are very complex and hard to prove. It’s necessary to work with a Charlotte medical malpractice lawyer to give your claim its greatest chance of success.

Reliable Charlotte Medical Malpractice Attorneys Who Can Defend You

After a medical malpractice injury, you and your family may feel overwhelmed with recovery efforts, lost income, and hospital bills. If you are one of the many who have been injured by a negligent medical professional, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover compensation for your pain and suffering as well as ongoing recovery costs.

It’s important that you work with an attorney who has experience and success in malpractice claims while providing care and focus to your individual case. At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, we have more than 90 years of collective experience in various fields of law, and we believe in giving you and your family the thorough and quality legal service you deserve.

Our team is dedicated to investigating your medical malpractice claim, determining if you have a valid claim, and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call 704-343-0000 now to share the details of what happened.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice can have devastating effects on a person’s life. When a patient entrusts their health to a doctor, they are trusting that they will receive a specific level of treatment. If that standard of care is violated by the doctor’s negligence or omission, the patient may have a medical malpractice suit. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management. When any medical provider fails to meet the expected professional standards and causes a patient harm as a result, they could be liable for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice claims are a form of personal injury claim. However, they are significantly more complicated than other personal injury claims due to the high level of proof needed and the involvement of a healthcare facility’s insurance provider.

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice in North Carolina?

Malpractice does not refer to mistakes made by medical providers that any professional would have made. Malpractice also does not refer to diagnoses or treatment plans that a patient doesn’t like. Medical malpractice requires negligent and careless behavior that no reasonable medical professional would have engaged in.

There are many ways that medical malpractice commonly occurs. Examples of medical negligence include:

  • Failing to diagnose or misdiagnose. If there was clear evidence or clear symptoms that should have led to a diagnosis or that contradicted the professional’s diagnosis, this is likely malpractice.
  • Misreading or ignoring laboratory results. This can result in a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.
  • Performing unnecessary surgery. This also includes failing to provide a patient with a full understanding of a procedure’s risks before performing it.
  • Making surgical errors or performing wrong-site surgery. This includes operating on the wrong patient or leaving foreign objects at the surgery site.
  • Administering improper medication or dosage. Both prescribing doctors and pharmacists filling a prescription can make errors about the type and dose of a medication. This can result in overdoses, injuries, and death.
  • Conducting poor follow-up or aftercare. After serious procedures, this is especially dangerous.
  • Prematurely discharging. If a patient suffers a complication that causes them harm out of the hospital, a medical professional can be held liable for discharging the patient too quickly.
  • Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history. This can result in allergic reactions, missed family medical history, or misdiagnosis.
  • Failing to order proper testing. When a patient shows clear signs of disease and suffers harm without a diagnosis and treatment, failing to order tests constitutes malpractice.
  • Failing to recognize symptoms. When other professionals with the same level of experience would have recognized the symptoms, this may constitute negligence and malpractice.
  • Birth injuries to a parent or newborn. These may include cerebral palsy or brain hypoxia.
  • Anesthesia errors. Improperly administering anesthesia can result in death.

There are many other examples of medical malpractice, and they can occur in emergency rooms, nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Medical professionals and the facilities they are employed at must uphold a professional duty of care. Healthcare facilities are responsible for their staff and ensuring that the staff upholds that duty of care.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in North Carolina?

After being injured by medical negligence, you or your loved one only has a certain amount of time to file a claim. It’s important to make sure that this claim is filed on time so that you are properly compensated for your injuries; otherwise, you’ll have no legal grounds to pursue compensation.

In general, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of the date of the medical error. However, certain circumstances may change this amount of time. For example, if the injury is not immediately apparent and isn’t discovered by the patient until two or more years from the day that the error was made, the patient has one year to file a lawsuit from the date of discovery.

In addition, if a foreign object is found inside a patient, such as a sponge or surgical instrument, the lawsuit must be filed one year from the date of discovery. This case must be filed within 10 years of the date that the surgical error was made.

The Importance of Filing Within the Statute of Limitations

Although the statute of limitations may appear to allow plenty of time to file a medical malpractice claim, it is essential to work with an attorney as soon as possible after suffering from or discovering medical malpractice. The closer you get to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the more difficult it will be to find an attorney who will take your case. There are several reasons for this. The closer it is to the statute of limitation, the less likely the case will be successful.

The longer you wait after discovering medical malpractice, the more likely that important evidence will vanish or be impossible to locate. Key eyewitnesses, video footage, and sometimes even medical records can be hard to find after many months or years have passed. With less evidence to prove that medical malpractice occurred and the exact value of damages, claims are less likely to be successful.

Malpractice claims also require time to prepare before filing. The more time an attorney has to prepare the case, investigate the incident, and determine the value of the claim, the more likely it is that the claim will be successful.

How Do You Prove Liability in a Medical Malpractice Claim in Charlotte?

Specific elements must be proven for a medical malpractice claim to be successful. A medical provider who makes a mistake or fails to do something does not inherently engage in malpractice. Malpractice occurs when the professional is negligent and does not meet professional standards. The elements that must be proven for a claim include

  1. The medical provider owed you, or the injured party, a duty of care. This is the case if there is a doctor-patient relationship and the medical provider agreed to provide treatment.
  2. The medical provider breached the duty of care. You must prove that a provider or their facility failed to take the appropriate and professionally expected level of care.
  3. This breach of duty directly caused you to suffer an injury. There must be clear causation between a negligent action and an injury or illness.
  4. You suffered an injury that resulted in legally recognizable damages. This includes showing proof of economic and non-economic damages.

These elements are often hard to prove in a medical malpractice claim. You want to find an attorney who understands the requirements of these claims and knows what evidence is most effective to prove these elements.

What Is a Medical Provider’s Professional Standard of Care?

The standard of care for medical professionals is that they must provide healthcare at the accepted standard of the medical profession. In North Carolina, the following guidelines are used when determining an acceptable standard of care:

  1. The provider has the professional skill, education, and ability expected of their position and profession.
  2. The provider uses reasonable care when applying this education and skill to a patient.
  3. The provider uses their better judgment when caring for a patient.

When a medical provider fails to meet these standards, according to how other similar providers would have met them, they may have violated the standard of care.

How Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help Me?

A medical malpractice claim can be filed without an attorney, but it is unlikely that the claim will be successful or bring you the compensation you need. You and your family likely need significant time to recover and heal, but civil claims need to be filed quickly.

By working with an experienced Charlotte malpractice attorney, you:

  • Give your claim its greatest chance of succeeding.
  • May increase the compensation you earn.
  • Are able to leave complicated negotiation and filing to a trusted professional.

There are several things that an attorney can do for you in a malpractice claim, including:

  • Calculating the value of your claim. There are many damages that injured parties overlook, which may lead you to accept low settlements. Although it may seem like enough coverage, you could be facing significant financial hardship in the future. An attorney knows what damages you are owed and what potential future costs should be covered in a claim.
  • Investigating the incident. An attorney has the resources and time to investigate the incident of malpractice and find evidence against the at-fault party, including medical records, photos, videos, and eyewitnesses. An attorney also knows what types of evidence are most effective for different types of medical malpractice.
  • Finding expert witnesses. One important part of a medical malpractice claim is proving that other medical professionals would not have taken the same actions or inaction in the same position as the professional who caused your injury. An attorney can find reliable and reputable medical professionals and other expert witnesses to support your claim.
  • Negotiating with insurance providers. When you are injured and in pain, you don’t want to spend your time negotiating a fair settlement with a medical facility’s insurance provider. When you have an attorney, they can manage those negotiations and phone calls on your behalf. Attorneys are also more equipped to notice underhanded tactics or false claims used to minimize the compensation you receive in a claim.
  • Litigating your case. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an attorney can take your case to court so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

Medical malpractice claims are complicated. They require knowledge of medical requirements and state and federal laws. Your attorney can answer your questions, guide you through the claims process, and help ease your stress.

How Much Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in North Carolina?

The value of a medical malpractice claim relies entirely on the unique damages and injuries in your claim. Factors that may impact the final settlement amount include:

  • The severity of your injury or illness
  • The amount of surgical and prescription costs
  • How long you were unable to return to work
  • Your average income
  • If you are disabled and unable to return to your job or profession
  • The long-term care, rehabilitation, and future costs of the injury or illness
  • If the provider acted with gross negligence
  • Your personal pain and suffering

A medical malpractice claim could cover any damages you suffered directly from the injury or illness, including:

  • Lost income and future earning capacity. An illness or injury due to malpractice can cause you to miss days or even months of work. These financial losses are compensable in a malpractice claim. You may also be unable to return to work due to disability, or you may only be able to work in a limited capacity. If the injury or illness impacts your long-term ability to find gainful employment, all these impacts on your future earning capacity should be calculated and included in a settlement.
  • Past and future medical costs. Any medical bills directly associated with the injury, such as surgeries, revision surgeries, hospital visits, procedures, and other follow-up procedures, should be covered under a claim. Additional, reasonable future costs and complications are compensable, such as physical and mental therapy, continued medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Permanent injuries. Injuries from medical malpractice could result in permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and amputation. These long-term consequences of an injury could be compensable.
  • Pain and suffering. These are noneconomic damages, including physical pain, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and other difficult-to-calculate costs. In North Carolina, medical malpractice claims, and non-economic damages are capped at $500,000 in most cases. An experienced attorney knows how to leverage noneconomic damages to maximize your compensation while fairly reflecting your damages.
  • Loss of consortium or companionship. If your injury or illness impacted your familial relationships, this harm could be compensable. This may be the loss of affection, the ability to care for a home with the rest of your family, or a sexual relationship.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages do not compensate you for any losses. They are awarded to punish the at-fault provider for malicious or willfully negligent behavior. The court may also award punitive damages if a provider engaged in fraud during malpractice or to cover up malpractice. Few claims will have punitive damages.

Calculating these damages accurately can be difficult under normal circumstances, and they can be harder when you are actively recovering from your injury. A qualified attorney knows how to efficiently determine what your claim’s value is and how to effectively maximize a settlement amount.

Holding Doctors Accountable in a Variety of Cases

At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, our team assists the victims of surgical errors, prescription errors, physician negligence and all other types of medical malpractice. We have a keen focus on these cases, and since 1978, our firm has successfully recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

Do I Have A Medical Malpractice Case?

After a medical procedure left you with disagreeable results, you may be wondering whether you should file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, medical malpractice cases require certain criteria. After all, medical professionals are only human, and humans are bound to make mistakes. Similarly, an unwanted result does not necessarily mean that the doctor or surgeon who assisted you committed malpractice.

At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, our Charlotte attorneys have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases of all varieties. We can determine whether you have an actionable case. If so, we will tirelessly help you seek compensation for your damages.

How Do I Know If I Experienced Malpractice?

A medical malpractice case, also referred to as a medical negligence case, has a certain legal definition. It occurs when a doctor or other medical professional with whom you had a relationship as a patient deviates from the expected standard of care. If this deviation caused harm to you or killed your loved one, then you may pursue a claim.

Although these instances are not rare, they are very difficult to prove. We may need to examine your medical records, get detailed assessments from other health care professionals and seek expert witness testimony. But if you do have a case for malpractice, you can bet that we will be at your side to help you.

Beware The Strict Deadlines

North Carolina has strict statutes of limitations for medical negligence cases. You must file your claim within three years of the date of malpractice or within one year of the date that you discovered your injury. If you miss these deadlines, you will lose your chance to recover compensation. Time is of the essence, so you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Ask Us About Medical Malpractice

To learn whether you have a lawsuit on your hands, contact Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC. We will sit down with you to discuss your circumstances. Schedule an initial consultation with us by calling 704-343-0000 or using our online contact form.

Gathering Evidence In A Medical Malpractice

Suffering medical negligence due to a surgical error, misdiagnosis or another negligent act can be devastating. You may have incurred substantial medical bills, in addition to now facing potential physical and emotional consequences.

Here at Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, our attorneys understand the frustration and confusion you face after suffering medical malpractice. We leverage our combined 90 years of experience to evaluate your case and inform you of your options from the start. A critical part of the legal process is gathering evidence to support your case. This can be a long and arduous process, and it is imperative to get an early start to avoid unnecessary delays in the case. Evidence comes in many different forms, and it is crucial to choose an attorney who knows what to look for, where to find it and how to use it to your advantage.

Forms Of Evidence

The process of gathering evidence can become complicated due to the nature of the claim, the medical provider in question, your medical history and more. Because of this, getting started as soon as possible can be beneficial.

Examples of evidence to support your claim can include:

  • Medical records. Your medical records, including mental health records, can be one of the most important sources of evidence, detailing the type of care you received.
  • Insurance information. This can include copies of your health or disability insurance.
  • Hospital bills. Whether you have health insurance or paid for your medical expenses out of pocket, it can be helpful to save copies of all invoices and bills.
  • Proof of lost income. To pursue damages for time you were forced to be away from your job, providing proof of lost time from work and income can be critical.
  • Defendant-supplied documents. It can also be helpful to save copies of any communication or documents you received from the defendant.

We take it upon ourselves to gather as much evidence as possible without disturbing you and your recovery. When you need to be involved, we strive to make the process as efficient and straightforward as possible. You can count on our legal team to collect the evidence necessary to strengthen your medical malpractice claim.

Let Us Fight On Your Behalf

The process of gathering evidence for medical malpractice is not easy, but thankfully, you do not have to do it alone. You can rely on our experienced attorneys to bolster your claim and fight on your behalf in the courtroom when necessary.

If you are in the Charlotte area and have suffered from medical malpractice, contact us immediately. Get in touch by calling 704-343-0000 or emailing us here to schedule your initial consultation.

What Damages Are Available?

Medical malpractice incidents can be extremely dangerous. Errors and other negligent acts can result in nerve damage, loss of bodily function, or even death. If a patient is fortunate enough to survive, the aftermath can be devastating, involving physical, emotional and financial consequences. Knowing the full extent of your damages is essential to your claim, but how can you determine what you are due?

At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, our attorneys have more than 90 combined years of experience in aiding medical malpractice victims throughout North Carolina. Our decades of experience include the process of identifying and valuing the total damages our clients have suffered in order to pursue the financial recovery they are due to move forward with their lives.

Damages Available In Medical Malpractice Claims

The damages, or compensation, available to recover will differ from case to case. In many situations, there are three different types of damages that plaintiffs can pursue:

  • Noneconomic damages. These include damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium.
  • Economic damages. These account for losses including medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Punitive damages. These damages intend to punish the defendant and are only available if the defendant engaged in gross negligence.

The state of North Carolina places a cap on the amount of noneconomic damages available in medical malpractice cases. Beginning in 2014, this amount is adjusted every three years to account for inflation, As of January 2020, a plaintiff can earn no more than $562,338 in noneconomic damages.

There are specific situations in which the state-imposed cap on noneconomic damages does not apply, including where the patient suffered either disfigurement or a permanent injury and the defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent or reckless. Our attorneys can assist in determining what damages are available for your specific medical malpractice case.

Why You Should Choose Us

What sets us apart from other medical malpractice attorneys is our extensive experience and commitment to providing personalized, responsive service. We want to see you attain the best possible outcome in your claim, and we want to be the ones to help you pursue this.

If you are in the Charlotte area, contact our office to schedule your initial consultation. Call 704-343-0000 or email us here.

Medical Experts Can Be Crucial To Your Medical Malpractice Case

One of the essential parts of preparing for a medical malpractice claim is gathering evidence. While the documents you and your attorney collect are critical, they are not the only evidence to help your case. Expert witnesses can give your claim the edge it needs to reach the best possible outcome, but who are these witnesses and what is their role?

At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, our attorneys take the time to thoroughly understand your unique situation to determine who can aid your claim with their expert testimony. Leveraging our combined 90 years of experience, we understand the complexities surrounding who can be an expert witness, as well as how critical this testimony can be to your case both prior to and during a trial.

Why Do You Need An Expert Witness?

To prove negligence in the care provided by the medical provider, the plaintiff, or injured patient, must show that the conduct did not meet an acceptable standard of care. The medical expert is critical to detailing what this established standard of care is. Their role is to clearly and plainly explain complicated medical matters to the jury in the courtroom. The witness’s testimony does not have to pertain to the malpractice event itself, but can instead discuss and explain the details that make up the event.

For example, suppose you suffered an anesthetic injury. In that case, an expert witness in anesthesiology could help illustrate the proper process to administer the anesthesia and identify how the actual actions that took place may be wrong.

Strict Rules On Who Can Be An Expert Witness

Finding the right medical expert is a key part of any medical malpractice case. The expert witness must be a medical professional with a similar background to that of the defendant. Using the example of the anesthetic injury above, if the injury was caused by an anesthesiologist in Charlotte, then an ideal expert witness would be another anesthesiologist either in Charlotte or familiar with the Charlotte standard of care.

In some situations, it is possible that your claim may not need an expert witness at all. If your injury involved a matter that anyone can understand, like leaving medical equipment or another foreign object in a patient’s body, then expert witness testimony may be unnecessary. We will review your case to determine whether you need an expert witness and if so, we will find the right expert to testify on your behalf.

Choose An Attorney Who Is Compassionate To Your Needs

We take pride in providing our clients with the respectful representation they deserve. If you need an attorney you can trust to fight for you and your future, do not wait another day to contact us. Schedule your initial consultation today by calling 704-343-0000, or emailing us here. We look forward to helping you.

Speak to a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Charlotte

At Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, we are a small family firm that provides highly personalized attention to each of our clients. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time, so we always take your medical and financial needs seriously as we move forward.

We can help you get started by offering a free initial consultation. After all your questions and concerns have been addressed, our team can help you understand your options and offer you guidance for your next steps. We are here to pursue full and fair compensation on your behalf. Additionally, we won’t charge you any legal fees unless we are able to win your case.

Call 704-343-0000 now or complete an online form to get in touch with a skilled Charlotte medical malpractice lawyer.


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