MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – SHOULD YOU GET SECOND OPINIONS?
With regard to potential case evaluation, law is as much about opinion as it is about facts. The good medical malpractice case will have substantial injury as a result of medical services done below the standard of care. Both damages and poor practice are needed. Opinions differ greatly as to what constitutes substantial damages and poor practice.
Licensed healthcare providers (nurses, physicians, dentists, chiropractors, and anyone else with a healthcare license) must practice with no less than the level of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by others in the same or similar locality and under the same circumstances. To fail to do so breaches the "standard of care."
If you suspect that your physician has been negligent, you should get a second medical opinion from another physician. Your insurance plan might even cover the expense of second opinions. Contact your insurance carrier to learn more about your rights to a second opinion. If the second opinion suggests that your initial care was below the standard of care, or if you are not able to get a reliable second opinion, you can consult a medical malpractice attorney.
When consulting an attorney, be ready to provide dates, times, and names of healthcare providers. Exact dates are needed because there are time limits set by law which must be followed when suing a healthcare provider. Time limits are set by a "statute of limitations." Thus, if you suspect you are a victim of medical negligence, do not delay in seeking legal advice.
Your attorney can evaluate your case (sometimes for a fee), and provide you with an opinion as to whether you should sue or not sue. Feel free to disagree with the first attorney's opinion, should that attorney tell you that you have no case. Get a second and a third opinion, but if all these opinions agree that you have no case, you should seriously consider accepting that you have no case.
Each lawyer will have different experiences and knowledge bases as to your potential case, and every medical malpractice case is unique. Thus, seeking a few opinions is wise and will provide the broadest level of evaluation for your specific situation.
The second opinion is valuable in medical care and legal practice. Take advantage of it!