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When we get called as medical malpractice lawyers by people in North Carolina (NC) to investigate a claim that a doctor, nurse or hospital hurt or killed the patient during treatment, the family member contacting us almost always hopes to stop that healthcare provider from making the same error on another person’s wife, husband, father, mother, son, or daughter. The way the legal system is set up, we, as medical malpractice attorneys, help identify people in the medical profession who have harmed patients by being inattentive, negligent or even incompetent. I feel good about the work that I do on behalf of people who have suffered injuries at the hands of a doctor because not only do I help get money and compensation for that individual patient, but I also may get a bad doctor to leave the profession or move to some area where he is not as likely to cause an injury or loss of life. The claims that we make against a medical practice or hospitals for improperly treating a patient may help prevent that medical facility from causing serious injury or death to someone else. The hospital procedures and the training of nurses and staff can improve as a result of the insurance company for the hospital having to pay because of sloppy or inadequate medical care.

Doctors and other medical care providers are supposed to heal the patient not make their health worse. Unfortunately, sometimes physicians mess up and do not provide the minimal standard of care medicine which results in devastating or catastrophic injuries to the person they are supposed to be helping. Examples of these types of errors include misdiagnosis, the failure to diagnose, or delay in the diagnosis of, a serious illness like cancer because a certain medical test was not performed or referral was not made to an appropriate specialist in time. Another kind of medical malpractice case that can cause prolonged treatment and disability or even the loss of a loved one can be such things as improper prescription medications as a result of a doctor, pharmacist, or drug store giving the patient the wrong drug or the wrong dosage. Medication errors also happen in the hospital setting and in nursing homes. All of these kinds of medical malpractice claims involve proving negligence or the breach of the applicable standard of care by the health care provider. As your attorney, I have to show that the doctor, hospital, nurse or nursing home did something wrong. In my decades of doing this kind of litigation, I have developed a good relationship with numerous doctors who can look at cases and help me to assess whether a particular doctor or hospital in North Carolina failed to live up to the obligation to do no harm.

The key thing for patients to know is that if they or a loved one believes they have a valid medical malpractice claim, they should contact a competent, experienced lawyer who practices in this field. The attorney can then help to collect the medical records necessary to figure out whether there is a good case and whether it is worth pursuing. We, like most personal injury lawyers, do not charge any fee until we collect something from the doctor or hospital’s insurance company on your behalf. So it doesn’t really cost you anything to find out what your rights and options are. By making the call to a good injury lawyer who has an emphasis in medical malpractice, you can find out what can be done to compensate you for your lost wages, medical bills, and permanent injury, while at the same time preventing the next family from suffering the way you have.

Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia, with offices in northeast NC and Virginia Beach (VA), practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is:, the firm edits three injury law blogs: Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects.

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