Malpractice law is something of a double edged sword. It is intended to cut both ways. The consumer must be protected from the mistakes of the professionals they rely upon. The responsible professionals must be allowed to continue to provide their service, in a reasonable manner, to the public. We all know legitimate stories of patients and other consumers victimized by a lack of care, or skill, or effort on the part of some professionals who have failed to successfully serve their clients. On the other hand we are all well aware of professionals who are unfairly blamed for bad outcomes that are not truly the result of inadequate care, preparation, or effort by the professional. There in lies the art of malpractice law. How to get it right for consumers, practitioners, and society as a whole.
Malpractice refers to negligence or misconduct by a professional person, such as a lawyer, doctor, dentist, or an accountant. The failure to meet a standard of care, or standard of conduct, that is recognized by a profession reaches the level of malpractice when a client or patient is injured or damaged because of the professional’s error. Professionals have a legal and ethical duty to act in their clients’ best interests and to apply their education and training in a competent fashion toward that end.
When you hire professionals, you rely on their expertise and expect them to act with integrity. You may be entitled to damages in situations where a lawyer, accountant, architect, engineer, or other type of professional violates your trust and causes harm. In order to bring a successful malpractice claim against a professional, generally, you and your lawyer must prove that the professional violated the standards of his or her profession, and that the violation directly caused you harm.
Common types of malpractice in the medical field include: doctors failing to properly diagnose a condition, neglecting to warn a patient about the dangers of a procedure, or making errors during treatment. Pharmacists commit malpractice when they make prescription errors, including wrong dosage or incorrect medications.
In the legal field, attorneys and their staff can commit malpractice. Some examples are: losing client files, failing to understand or apply the law correctly, missing the applicable statute of limitations (deadline for filing a lawsuit), failing to represent a client as set forth in the code of ethics, misusing of client funds, or failing to appear on behalf of a client.
If a structure is found to be unsafe – sometimes due to the failure of professionals to properly consider loads and load-bearing capacities - the engineers and architects under contract can be sued for failure to adequately fulfill the contract. In addition, the architect or engineer is responsible for any fraud or abuse of the client-professional relationship, such as understating costs or failing to complete a project by a prearranged deadline.
Accountants must follow certain accounting rules outlined in the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS). If an accountant fails to follow these rules he may be guilty of malpractice. Most of the time, you must show that your accountant violated GAAP or GAAS rules to make a claim for malpractice.
Proving that a professional failed to follow industry standards can be quite complicated. It requires attorneys who have an extensive understanding of the applicable codes, regulations, guidelines, ethical rules, certification and licensing requirements.
If you believe that the actions of a professional you trusted have harmed you, contact the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC for a thorough and candid discussion with one of our partners about the legal options available to you. We’ll fight for you, whatever it takes, as long as it is in your best interests.
To schedule an initial consultation regarding your malpractice law issues, please contact us through our Online Contact Form, by email: email@example.com, or by phone: (212) 835-6768, (215) 331-6487 or (609) 480-3080.