Charlotte Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Charlotte, NC
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers an avoidable, serious injury or premature death due to a health care provider’s failure to act according to established medical standards. At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, located in Charlotte, we have more than 50 years of combined experience handling a wide range of medical malpractice claims. When you reach out to us, you are sure to find a medical malpractice lawyer that can aide in your case. Some of the claims we have handled in the past include:
- Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing a serious condition
- Failing to treat infection
- Making avoidable surgical errors
- Failing to respond in a timely manner to a patient in the emergency room
- Prescribing the wrong medication or instructing patients to take the wrong amount of medication
- Failing to avoid birth injuries by providing adequate prenatal care
- Providing negligent hospital care by reviewing the wrong medical records
- Failing to properly address staph infections
Under North Carolina law and in most jurisdictions in which we practice, there are statutes that define what constitutes medical negligence. Under North Carolina law, a medical provider is under a duty (1) to use their best judgment in the treatment and care of their patient, (2) to use reasonable care and diligence in the application of their knowledge and skill to their patients care, and (3) to provide health care in accordance with the standards of practice of among members of the same health care profession with similar training and experience situated in the same or similar communities at the time the health care is rendered. A violation of any one of these three duties is negligence.
To be successful, one must to prove one or more of these violations by the greater weight of the evidence. That is, the jury must be persuaded after considering all of the evidence that the necessary facts to establish negligence are more likely than not to exist. North Carolina imposes an additional burden when one claims error by an emergency room physician. Evidence in those cases must be “clear and convincing”.
Virtually all doctors carry malpractice insurance which will satisfy any settlement or judgment obtained in a malpractice claim. Also, the law in North Carolina requires that injured victims have a physician of the same specialty as the allegedly negligent doctor attest that the doctor did indeed violate the standard of care. Unfortunately, there are only a small handful of medical malpractice insurers in North Carolina, and these insurers generally prevent North Carolina doctors from testifying against other North Carolina doctors – although they do encourage their doctors to offer testimony in support of other North Carolina doctors. For that reason it is often necessary to seek physicians from outside of North Carolina to discuss whether or not the allegedly negligent doctor violated the standard of care. The medical personnel on our staff are critical to helping us locate physicians who will be educating the jury about accepted patient safety standards, rather than simply be an advocate for the health-care and liability insurance industries.
North Carolina also has laws which limit the types of recovery that victims of medical malpractice may obtain as compensation for their injuries. This limitation on the recovery of fair compensation to injured victims is unique to the field of medical malpractice and does not affect individual injured by the negligence of others who are not medical professionals. In North Carolina, a victim of medical negligence is limited to a recovery of $500,000 (adjusted every three years since 2011 for cost-of-living increases, the current cap on recovery is $515,000) for all “non-economic” consequences. This includes harms such as physical pain, mental suffering, permanent impairment and scarring. Similarly, if a loved one has died as a result of medical negligence, the victim’s family is limited to a $500,000 recovery (adjusted every three years as mentioned above) for all damages except for wage loss and pre-death medical bills.
Although juries are asked to provide fair compensation to victims of medical negligence, the law prohibits the court or the lawyers from telling the jurors that their verdict will be reduced in accordance with this cap on recovery. The only exception to this limitation is if a jury finds that the medical provider was “reckless” in the delivery of medical care. In such instance, the limitation on recovery of non-economic damages does not apply and the victims of medical negligence are entitled to the entirety of what the jury has determined is fair compensation in its verdict. As the expenses associated with litigating medical negligence claims can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, this unfair limitation on the recovery of damages unfortunately makes it extremely difficult to pursue cases on behalf of certain categories of individuals who may not have wage-earning capacity, or who did not incur significant medical expenses.
Handling Medical Malpractice Claims with Experienced Counsel and Advocacy
At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, we have handled hundreds of medical malpractice claims. We know how to prove this high standard and hold negligent parties accountable. Contact our office today to speak with a nurse to see if you have a claim for which you should meet with an experienced local medical malpractice lawyer in:
Our firm’s attorneys have significant experience handling complex medical malpractice cases, including emergency room errors, surgical errors, failure to diagnose serious medical conditions, and avoidable birth injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries and wrongful death. Let an experienced medical malpractice lawyer apply years of experience and legal skills in pursuit of helping you obtain a full financial recovery.
Successful Results in Medical Malpractice Cases
In 2015, we received a jury verdict of more than $7.5 million against two surgeons for negligent post-operative care and failing to diagnosis infection following a surgical procedure. We have also obtained a $1.2 million settlement against a health care provider after a doctor’s failure to timely diagnose an evolving disease resulted in wrongful death. We achieved a $3 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered serious brain damage after an anesthesia error during surgery. Read more about past successes we have achieved in medical malpractice cases.
Preparing Every Medical Malpractice Claim for a Favorable Trial Verdict
At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, we have the experience and legal skills to take on highly complicated medical malpractice claims. Our legal team includes a highly skilled nurse focused on evaluating claims to determine if medical professionals acted in a negligent manner. We also have access to industry-leading experts including university-based medical professors and practicing medical doctors. We prepare every claim with the goal of achieving a favorable trial verdict complete with expert testimony to prove fault.
When you are not feeling alright, going to a doctor is the most practical thing you can do to check your health and get an early diagnosis. We tend to trust doctors and other healthcare providers to diagnose and treat us, helping us get back on our feet with little to no stress, pain, or suffering.
However, when a medical error occurs, your life can turn upside down in a split second. It is frightening to even think about the possibility of being a victim of medical malpractice in North Carolina. Luckily, however, our state law makes it possible to sue the negligent doctor, surgeon, pharmacist, nurse or other medical professionals when their acts or omission to act had a detrimental effect on your health.
Our Charlotte medical malpractice attorney from Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, is going to explain how you – as a victim of a medical mistake – can pursue compensation in the state of North Carolina.
How to Prove a Medical Error?
To hold a doctor responsible for a medical mistake in a medical malpractice case, you will have to prove a breach of the accepted standard of care. Our best medical malpractice lawyers in North Carolina explain that you must demonstrate evidence of the following elements to get compensated:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed between you (the injured patient) and the medical professional who committed medical malpractice
- The doctor’s medical malpractice is the result of him or her breaching the standard of care
- The breach of duty had a negative impact on the patient’s health
- The injury brought specific damages and losses to the patient
What Are the Requirements for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in North Carolina?
Our Charlotte medical malpractice attorney has outlined North Carolina’s state law requirements for bringing a medical malpractice claim in the state:
- The claim can be brought two years after the act of medical malpractice
- You can still bring the claim within 12 months after the injury was discovered but only if the patient could not have been reasonably expected to discover the injury when it occurred
- A special review panel will evaluate the claim
- There are special notice requirements before filing a claim
- Expert testimony is required to prove medical malpractice
- North Carolina law imposes a limit on the amount of compensatory damages and losses an injured patient can recover
What Are the Limits and Caps for Medical Malpractice Damages in North Carolina?
The compensation that can be collected by an injured patient in a medical malpractice case is limited by North Carolina state law. Our Charlotte medical malpractice lawyer at Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, explains that our state law imposes a cap on non-economic damages (i.e., diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.) to a maximum of $500,000.
However, this limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases does not apply to cases where the victim suffered from a permanent injury or disfigurement. The second exception is cases where the medical professional’s conduct was intentional, malicious, reckless, or grossly negligent.
Luckily, there are no caps on the amount of economic damages that can be awarded to a victim of a negligent doctor’s error in North Carolina. Economic damages are mostly comprised of medical bills and loss of income. However, our state law requires two separate trials if the amount of economic damages exceeds $150,000, with the judge and jury remaining the same in both trials.
Contact Our Charlotte Law Firm to Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
We invite you to learn more about the full range of services we offer to our medical malpractice clients.
For answers to specific questions about your own experiences — or the experiences of a family member — contact our office to schedule a complimentary initial consultation or call toll-free 800-948-0577 to meet with a highly skilled medical malpractice lawyer.