Everything You Want to Know
about malpractice & injury type lawsuits

You really should know
what is on this page.

Was it medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is simply a health care provider not doing what he is supposed to do or doing what he is not supposed to do. The term is used simply to indicate ordinary negligence, medical negligence by a health care provider that cause an injury. The theory of negligence in these cases is no different than that of an automobile accident caused by someone who was not necessarily careful at that moment in time. Each state has a statute, case law, or jury instructions which define what the standard of care should be, how the proof of skill or reasonable treatment is to be presented, and whether it is to match local standards or national standards. Sometimes the standards between office and hospital based physicians vary. Frequently there is a different standard set by law for emergency room physicians than for others. All these are generally legislative differences. I have been promoting a standard of care in the literature and at seminars as requiring: A health care provider to do the right thing at the right time, in the right way for the right reason. The health care provider should anticipate a result, and if such a result is not achieved is to inquire why that occurred and to make a correction if necessary. The standard of medical care required is good medical care. The defense prefers to look at what the average health care provider does under circumstances. Good medical care requires a proper response not necessarily what the majority of people would do under such circumstances. The standard of care is constantly improving and what was appropriate, acceptable or commonly done yesterday may not be so tomorrow.                 Top

What is the statute of limitations
The statute of limitations is a time limit set by law which creates a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you file your suit after the deadline the suit will be thrown out. Each state has its own special requirements and some states allow extensions or have exceptions to their time limits. Although each state differs, these malpractice statutes of limitations may be as short as one year or as long as four years or more. Some states will postpone the running of the statute of limitations for an injured child until the child reaches a certain age. If you think you may have a claim for medical malpractice you should contact a malpractice lawyer in your state as soon as possible to learn the precise deadline in your state. There may be a great deal of work to do to prepare your case before it can be filed. Some malpractice lawyers will not even agree to investigate a potential case unless there are several months remaining on the statute of limitations. Another benefit to starting the claim as soon as possible is that sometimes there are important records that can be obtained before they are destroyed or reduced to microfilm. The prompt collection of evidence can make a big difference in successfully proving your case.

Do I need a lawyer
You need a lawyer because even under the best of circumstances almost all medical malpractice cases will be denied and will be vigorously defended. Yes, even those which are obvious. They are very complex and difficult to pursue. It is rare for a health care provider to settle a malpractice game early. You need a lawyer because medical malpractice cases are very complex and difficult to pursue. For many reasons it is rare for a healthcare provider to settle a malpractice claim early. You should expect the doctor or hospital to hire a lawyer who specializes in defending medical malpractice claims and you should anticipate the defense will normally pull out all stops to fight your claim. Many states have complicated legal procedures that must be followed even before you file your malpractice suit. Miss one procedural step along the way and your suit could be forfeited. You might even find that you end up with a judgment against you for the attorneys' fees and expenses incurred by the healthcare provider in fighting you. You should expect the doctor or hospital just as it is, through the end provider in fighting you.

I want my case reviewed privately.
If you have your medical records, your case can be reviewed to see if there was malpractice, whether the malpractice caused the damages or the harm which is compensable, and for the probability of success in such litigation. You will get a written report explaining these items and this can be done for a one time charge of $600.  If we become your lawyers or if we find you a lawyer satisfactory to you, there will be no additional charges for the remainder of the work. For further information as to what is needed and when it can be done, fill out the form available throughout this web site or call directly.         Top

Can I get my own medical records
Every patient is totally entitled to have copies of all medical records and has an absolute right to see each and every medical record about herself. Medical records consist of many more pages, comments and parts than is frequently given the patient at initial request. Whenever a patient requests medical records, and certainly when a lawyer does so, health care providers are immediately alerted that there may be an investigation into malpractice and will do whatever they legally can to stall, delay, and obstruct you getting complete information. Therefore, when you request medical records you must know what to ask for and how to ask for it. You must be prepared to pay a reasonable clerical copying charge which varies from state to state. When you ask for your medical records, particularly when you want them to evaluate whether there was medical malpractice or not, as distinguished from letting a subsequent treating physician know what illnesses you had, be sure to request: a legible certified copy of each and every page of the medical record including but not limited to all notes written and dictated by physicians, consultants, nurses, and other health care providers. Do not omit any pages, items, reports, records, or dictated summaries even if they are unsigned and not yet proofread. Any such materials may be sent when completed or corrected or edited, but at this time all existing records should be sent. Include an itemized bill for all these services This was a long detailed request which contained the key demands without which you likely will not get everything you need for a proper evaluation of your case.
See the Release of Information form.  Go to Release.htm

I don't know if I need a lawyer, can I call you.
If you have a simple question, if you cannot get it answered by your present physician or lawyer, and if you think you may have basis for a lawsuit, please call me Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5 PM, at (407) 333- 4444. I will talk with you directly or you will be courteously treated and your call returned. Please be sure to have the facts about which you ask detailed and ready, and if you need to leave a message, please do so with specifics and not with generalities. Thank you.

Can you help me find a lawyer
Yes. If you have difficulty finding a lawyer in your area who understands the facts of your case and can evaluate those facts both medically and legally, I can help you. The medical facts in malpractice and injury cases are often confusing, contradictory and misunderstood. The legal ramifications of medical issues are often not what we as average citizens think. The real financial aspects of a lawsuit are simply not discussed in newspapers and all we ever really hear about are outrageous unrealistic happenings and results. After 40 years experience dealing with these, I may be able to help put together the proper team for your case so that you at least get a fair and just evaluation and competent performance in your representation. Evaluate other pages on this website and judge if you want me to evaluate your case and put you in touch with the appropriate attorney in your jurisdiction based on the facts you tell me. Thereafter, YOU will meet with him, YOU will decide whether to employ him, YOU will decide whether you like her, and only YOU will have the power to make all the decisions that are necessary as to whether to go forward or not with such a recommendation. You will have NO fee for this referral. You will have NO additional costs. Your new lawyer will consult with me only if both he and you decide jointly to do so. I then will be paid by him with no additional cost to you.        Top

I live in a different state
This office with 40 years experience teaching, litigating, reviewing, and consulting with lawyers and physicians throughout the world has access to and association with some of the finest lawyers and specialist physicians throughout the United States. We will be happy to find a fine lawyer to handle your case in your jurisdiction if there is merit to it; and such a lawyer will be pleased to work with you and with me for the best achievable result. You will have the total right and opportunity to accept, reject, contract with any lawyer of your choice. We are happy to review your case, find a lawyer for you, refer you, or simply consult with you. The fee to you will be no different and certainly no higher than if you were to do this by yourself. We may be also be able to work with a lawyer that you have chosen and with whom you are already working. It would simply require his approval, the fact that you need our help, and most important of all that you have a case in which there were both malpractice and damages resulting there from.

Do I have a good case
I don't know yet. That is the most important and difficult part of the process. It would be difficult to simply make a list of the types of malpractice cases that are good or bad. Each case is unique and needs to be considered on its own particular merits and facts. But there are certain issues your lawyer will have to work through before deciding if he can accept your case. Since malpractice cases are so expensive and time consuming to pursue, one of the first questions your lawyer will need to address is whether the case is economically justifiable. A lawyer may spend as much as $50,000 to $100,000 in out-of-pocket expenses plus two to three years' time on a single malpractice case. If a potential case only involves a temporary misdiagnosis of a medical condition, and the correct diagnosis was eventually made with no significant permanent injuries, then that probably is not a good case to pursue.

What is my case worth
No one should guess, and it usually is a great deal less than you might have been told. The value of a case generally depends on what a jury thinks if fair compensation for the injuries sustained. The jury is the final and best arbiter. The true value depends on the kind of malpractice, the nature of the injury, the severity and permanence of the damages, the believeabitly and the credibility of the witnesses, whether the jury likes you and your family, and whether the doctor is credible and believable or whether he looks and acts like a liar or someone who does not care. Just as you will be properly prepared to be a witness, instructed as to how to behave and advised as to your appearance, so will all the health care providers be groomed and trained and practiced to win.

I don't want money, I just wish to get even.
Medical malpractice land personal injury awsuits are only brought for money damages. Our laws do not provide for "getting even." There are other ways and means for an injured patient to let it be known that the physician acted improperly. Such doctors can be reported to their local County Medical Societies, to their State Board of Medical Examiners, to their specialty organization, and to the hospital administrator in which an event occurred. Under such circumstances the doctor will be scrutinized, may be found guilty of improper behavior and corrected, but there will be no financial award to the injured patient. Like any personal injury lawsuit, a medical malpractice case is only for money damages, not for punishment to the doctor, not for restricting or removing his licensed practice medicine, and not to prevent similar acts from happening again. The lawsuit requires that the suing party proves all the necessary parts of her case. It must be shown that the doctor had a duty to his patient which he breached, wherein he acted inappropriately. It must be shown that the wrong thing the doctor did or the right thing he failed to caused some permanent harm. It must further be developed that the negligence by the physician forseeably would cause an injury and that such injury was preventable by appropriate reasonable medical care of an appropriate quality not provided. Each of these must be proven by the plaintiff to the satisfaction of the judge and a jury.                                        Top 

What if 2 or 3 lawyers work on my case
No matter how many lawyers or investigators we hire for you, your cost does not increase.
Remember that with us: NO RECOVERY = NO FEE.  The fee agreement into which you enter with your lawyer, the contingency fee, will be for a percentage of the recovery at the time that compensation is paid for your injuries. If your lawyer needs additional help, additional lawyers, the advise of legal specialists, the fee to which you have agreed may be apportioned or divided among them depending on how much work each does and their expertise. It should not cost you any more or less regardless of how many lawyers are involved in your medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit.

What should I expect from my lawyer
When you employ any professional, in a medical malpractice lawyer in particular, you should inquire into his education, background, training, and experience. Ask other lawyers if you choose. That is one indication of reputation. Or specifically, find out how many medical malpractice cases such a lawyer has reviewed, and how many depositions of medical experts he has taken, how many medical malpractice cases he has actually tried in a courtroom, and what his win-loss record is in these cases. Plaintiffs and defendants do not use the same kind of medical malpractice trial lawyer. As a general rule, those who represent injured patients, plaintiffs, do not work for insurance companies, and do not represent health care providers. The opposite is also true. There are many sources of references but a good one for injured patients is the American Association for Justice, (A.A.J.), they have an 800 number. A good source of reference for defense lawyers is the Defense Research Institute and the local hospital administration offices which likely have experiences with many lawyers in the particular locality.

I have a lawyer, but can I call you
Please tell your lawyer that you will be calling me with a question. An even better procedure would be to ask him your question first, and to suggest to him that he call me with that question. All will be better served by above board ethical behavior.

How much will my malpractice case cost me
Most medical malpractice lawsuits are taken on a contingency basis by lawyers. The exact percentage contingency fee varies from state to state but is regulated by state laws, bar regulations, and custom. That means that such a suit will cost you nothing unless there is a recovery, at which time all expenses are taken out of the recovery as well as the contracted contingency fee. Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely time consuming and expensive. It is estimated that the average medical malpractice lawsuit costs $20,000-$45,000 actual out of pocket cost from the time a complaint is filed until a jury reaches it's decision. This does not include the cost of an appeal should that become necessary. Indeed, many substantial verdicts by a jury for a victim, against a health care provider, are indeed appealed. It should therefore be obvious that lawyers will not want to take on medical malpractice cases unless there are severe and substantial injuries or a wrongful death of an individual who was a wage earner or who had others dependant on him or was the mother of a household. The initial evaluation of a medical malpractice case, the medical records, and the determination of whether such a case can expect to recover damages, just that part of the initial consideration alone, frequently costs $500-2,000. It is for these reasons that you can expect the lawyer to whom you go with such a complaint to be careful, deliberate, thoughtful, and inquire into many aspects of your health and the personal life before deciding whether to vigorously represent you. In complicated cases, costs for trial preparation and experts can exceed $100,000.

Will mine be a contingency fee -With us it always is NO RECOVERY = NO FEE
It should be. We and all my associates throughout the United States take on all malpractice case exclusively on a contingency fee basis Most malpractice cases are handled that way, which means that you only have to pay the attorney a fee for his services if he obtains a recovery for you, either by settlement or trial. If he does not obtain a recovery, you owe him nothing for his services. Under almost all circumstances you will have a written contract with your lawyer that spells out the details of the attorneys' fee agreement. The exact percentage charged will vary from state to state and region to region because of differences in state laws, bar regulations, and custom. Who will pay the expenses In most cases the attorney will advance all the expenses or "costs" of the case, and then be reimbursed for these costs out of the recovery. Because of the complexities and proof requirements in malpractice cases, these out-of-pocket costs spent by the attorney on things like medical records, court reporters, expert witnesses, travel, and trial exhibits, can easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars. In the more complicated cases, these "costs" can exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00). This reimbursement for expenses is usually at the end of the case and is in addition to the attorney's fee percentage, which pays the attorney for the time and effort he spends on your case.       Top 

Will there be a defense
There will be a vigorous defense and once you sue, the doctors and defense lawyers will try to beat you on every issue. They will attempt to show you got good medical care and indeed call it exemplary medical care. They will argue that you have no damages and anything that is wrong, even if there were a death, that it was caused by the illness or some unforeseen circumstance, and certainly not by anything the physician or other health care provider did wrong. They will frequently attempt to blame the patient or third parties which may or may not exist for anything that went wrong. Any part of the patient's background will be called into question, such as drinking habits, smoking, drugs, narcotics, marital infidelity, divorces, abortions, and even unimportant missed appointments. There will be an attempt to put the patient on trial with every argument permitted in front of the jury.

What will the defense do
Everything they can to beat you. Besides trying to show that there was no negligence, or no damage caused by the alleged negligence, the defense may argue that something or someone else actually caused the injuries. A defense that is very frequently encountered is to blame the patient for the problem. Blaming the patient takes many forms including arguing that the patient was too fat, or too thin, or had unusual internal anatomy, was a smoker, a drinker, a drug abuser, or did not take his medicine, or failed to tell the doctor something he should have, or failed to come back as instructed. These defenses are an attempt to put the patient on trial instead of the doctor, or at least to try to get the jury to divide responsibility between the patient and the healthcare provider.

Do I need an expert witness
Every medical malpractice case and most injury cases require multiple witnesses to tell the facts of an incident and to explain them. Expert witnesses are usually physicians or nurses in the same field of health care as the person or party being sued. They are required to evaluate the facts and the medical testimony in order to come to a conclusion that there was or was not a breech in the acceptable standard of care based on the facts and circumstances of this particular case. That is another way of saying that there was a deviation from the acceptable standard of care (or not), or that the actions taken were not reasonable. Both sides will have expert witnesses with likely opposing points of view. They may each base their testimony on putting emphasis on different aspects of the medical events. An expert witness is one who can explain to the jury rationally and with a strong basis how he came to his conclusions and why they merit jury consideration and are persuasive enough to carry the confidence for the side he favors. It will be your lawyer's job to employ such experts, provide them with the necessary data and medical records, insure that he understands what the opposing side thinks, says, and may use in argument. Such expert witnesses not only are needed to testify on behalf of the opinion of the side they support, but should also be used as teachers to educate the lawyer on the medical issues and the technical aspects involved. The cost is substantial.

How long will my case take
Medical malpractice lawsuits necessarily take at least 2 years from the time you decide to litigate until a jury reaches their initial verdict. That is probably optimistic. It is not unusual for 3 years to elapse. If a substantial verdict is obtained one has to plan an extra year for resolution of the appellate process. Cases do settle before and instead of trial. However, usually all the preliminary work has to be done and a settlement may be reached shortly before trial begins. That is the most common scenario. However, all cases must be planned to trial and through trial. Any client or lawyer who plans that a case will be settled without trial is necessarily weakening the case, diminishing it's value, and making it a great deal easier for the wrongdoer healthcare provider and his legal team.

Informed consent cases
Informed consent cases by themselves generally do not win any compensation in medical malpractice lawsuit. Informed consent is a legal requirement where the doctor or other health care provider is required to get your permission to perform a certain procedure. You must be told the essential risks, benefits, and alternatives of a procedure and accept those, sometimes in writing. If you are not told anything, and a procedure is done which is harmful to you, that is the beginning of the basis of suing for failure to get from you your informed consent for the procedure. There is a big problem as a result of this simple definition. What is further required is for you to credibly and believable then state, that had you known the risk which you were not told, he would have refused the procedure and not had treatment. There are only a few times when that is believable. Therefore, most informed consent cases are usually associated with other kinds of medical malpractice, a physician appearing in other ways not to care enough, perhaps a cavalier attitude, from which can be inferred that he probably did not give you enough information for you make a proper choice.

Obstetric birth injuries
These cases are extremely difficult to litigate, among the most expensive, and frequently result in very large verdicts because such children if severely injured due to malpractice require care for the rest of their lives. As is usual for most cases, evaluation of such medical records requires intensive study and investigation, the use of multiple different medical specialists, and prolonged preparation. If you believe that you are a victim of a birth injury malpractice, do not delay in seeking legal counsel, getting your medical records, and being represented.                   Top

E-mail to DrRein@USCourt.com  or write: 1877 Wingfield Dr., Longwood, FL 32779

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