The leading Maine medical malpractice lawyers at Briggs & Wholey are renowned leaders in Maine medical malpractice law. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of patients injured by the negligence of others. Our firm provides the highest quality legal representation to medical malpractice victims in Portland, Bangor, August, Lewiston, and other areas of Maine.
Medical malpractice refers to negligence by doctors and related health professionals. There is an important distinction between careless acts of others and negligence by a professional because doctors are held to a higher standard of care than the man on the street. Physicians are required to perform at a certain “level” expected of their profession. Obstetricians, for example, must provide a certain quality of care determined by professional standards. Like other specialists, they are held to an even higher standard than general practitioners. Regardless of the standard, the same principles of negligence apply. When Maine health care providers are careless or make preventable mistakes, they breach a duty owed to the patient. Doctors who fall below the required standard of care are liable for any injuries that result. Medical malpractice law governs this area of liability.
Common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Prescription drug errors
- Failure to read a radiology study correctly
- Using unsafe medical equipment
- Patient falls from hospital beds
- Mistakes made during delivery
- An incorrect medical diagnosis or treatment
- Delayed response to patient injury
- Improperly administering anesthesia
- Performing the wrong surgery or outpatient procedure
- Providing patients with substandard care
More than 98,000 Americans die each year due to medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs in doctors’ offices, clinics, and facilities all over the United States, including Maine. Health care providers are human and make mistakes, even in the best hospitals. But errors in medical practice can put a patient’s life at risk. While the law does not expect absolute perfection, it does require that doctors provide a certain level of care. Whether their performance meets that standard is a matter for a jury to decide based on Maine law. Medical malpractice requires showing that the physician’s conduct fell below the required standard of care, causing injury to the patient. A worsening medical condition or rapid decline in the patient’s health may indicate human error. Botched surgeries and improper medical treatment can even cause death.
Maine law holds health care providers liable for injuries caused by their negligence. Because medical mistakes can cause serious injuries, physicians and hospitals are required to carry a substantial amount of malpractice insurance.
Maine Jurors aren’t allowed to hear this at trial, but doctors and hospitals who are sued for negligence have negligence insurance just like the car insurance that we all have. The truth is that the doctor or hospital’s Insurance Company is behind every medical negligence case. Big malpractice insurance companies like Medical Mutual Insurance Company of Maine hire defense lawyers to sit beside the careless doctor at trial, pay for the experts that vouch for the negligent doctor that injured you or your loved one, and do everything in the Insurance Company’s power to avoid paying for a genuine injury caused by an insured doctor until the last possible moment. Medical Mutual, like all malpractice insurance companies is big business. Medical Mutual doesn’t just protect the assets and financial integrity of the physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers it insures. Medical Mutual also gives Maine doctors a yearend bonus- a dividend-every year that its profits exceed its payments to carelessly injured Maine patients. In the 2009 Annual Report, Medical Mutual Insurance Company of Maine boasted “Since the Company’s founding, Medical Mutual has returned $24,980,000 to policy holders in the form of dividends.”
But with a tough job market and skyrocketing healthcare costs, ordinary Maine citizens whose lives are destroyed by medical negligence don’t have the luxury of ignoring their serious losses. Even an Insurance policy limit of $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 will not fully compensate some patients for their injuries. Permanent injuries may require expensive medication and around-the-clock care. They also mean time away from work and a drastic loss of income. By bringing a medical malpractice claim, the patient can hold all negligent parties liable, including the hospital. Injured parties are often entitled to compensation from multiple parties. The award or settlement may include past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. If medical malpractice resulted in a wrongful death, surviving family members are entitled to compensation associated with the loss of relationship with the deceased. A qualified lawyer can ensure that you are fully compensated for your harm.
Maine has special rules and procedures for bringing a claim against a Maine health care provider. Many Maine attorneys are unfamiliar with these important legal requirements. At Briggs & Wholey we are very familiar with Maine’s special malpractice rules, and are often referred cases by other attorneys.
If you or someone you love was injured by the medical malpractice of a doctor or other health professional, contact the experienced Maine medical malpractice attorneys of Briggs & Wholey today. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation to injured patients throughout Maine. Our team of seasoned lawyers and highly-skilled staff work diligently to help you achieve the best outcome possible in your case. We have successfully handled all types of medical malpractice cases, recovering multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients across the state. At Briggs & Wholey, you are not just another number. We are devoted to defending your rights, and those of your loved ones, to help you get back on your feet. For a free consultation, call (888) 596-1099 or contact us online.