In May 2016, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published an analysis indicating that medical errors cause over 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S., making it the third leading cause of death – behind heart disease and cancer. Not every medical error results in death, but few medical negligence victims or their loved ones ever contact an attorney.
If you or someone you care about finds yourself in a dispute with a health care provider over medical negligence or a wrongful death in North Carolina, you will need an attorney who has experience in dealing with these areas of the law. Here’s why:
North Carolina’s laws make it very difficult for a patient or his or her family to bring a medical negligence or wrongful death lawsuit. It’s not a “level playing field” for a patient or patient’s estate. In recent years, the NC State Legislature has made health care providers a special class of protected persons who have special rights and special privileges which protect them. Medical providers are immune from being sued in court for their negligent acts unless and until the victim can obtain a certification from a qualified medical expert that the victim’s medical provider violated a required standard of care.
Even “obvious” cases require solid evidence and convincing expert witness testimony. The required expert must review the complete medical records pertaining to the alleged negligence and must be willing to testify that the medical care in question doesn’t meet the required standard of care. Medical experts may be very reluctant to testify against other local medical providers. Hiring an expert witness outside the local vicinity can be costly. It is necessary that the medical expert review all of the relevant medical records. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes very difficult to obtain all of the medical records from heath care providers.
If you believe you or your loved one could be a victim of medical negligence or wrongful death due to medical negligence, consult with an experienced lawyer before you try to deal with the health care provider yourself. In NC, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to go it alone. Get advice on how to obtain your complete medical record when a medical provider may be withholding it. Get help in finding someone who is qualified to give an expert opinion on whether you or your loved one received treatment that meets the required medical standard of care.
The experienced attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A. are prepared to discuss your particular situation to determine if there is a legitimate factual and legal basis for a claim.
M. David Bland is a partner and civil litigation attorney whose practice includes medical negligence. Contact David at Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A. at (704) 844-1400. The information contained in this article is general in nature and not to be taken as legal advice nor to establish an attorney-client relationship between the reader and M. David Bland or the law firm of Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A.
Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A. serves clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Located in the town of Matthews between Mecklenburg and Union Counties in North Carolina since 1982, we proudly provide legal services throughout Charlotte, Matthews, Mint Hill, Stallings, Indian Trail, Monroe, Marvin, Wesley Chapel, Weddington, Waxhaw, the Ballantyne area, and other surrounding communities in the Greater Charlotte area. Our clients range from national corporations and major banking institutions to individuals and local companies.