Medical malpractice is a critical concern worldwide, as patients place their trust in the hands of healthcare professionals to receive safe and effective treatment. In Turkey, the legal landscape surrounding medical malpractice is evolving through supreme court decisions day by day to ensure patient rights are protected, and this has led to the emergence of Turkish medical malpractice lawyers who play a pivotal role in seeking justice for victims and upholding healthcare standards.
This article prepared by our Turkish medical malpractice lawyers delves into the significance lawyers specialized in health law and medical malpractice and their responsibilities, and the legal framework that guides their actions.
The Role of Turkish Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Through Patient Rights Regulation, Article 4, patient rights refer to the rights of individuals who need to benefit from health services, just because they are human, and which are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, international treaties, laws and other legislation.
And Turkish medical malpractice lawyers, also known as medical negligence attorneys are legal experts who specialize in cases involving healthcare-related errors that cause harm, injury, or death to patients playing a vital role on protection of patient rights regulated with national and international laws. These lawyers offer a vital service in ensuring that medical professionals are held accountable for their actions, and that victims and their families receive compensation for material and moral damages suffered.
These legal professionals are well-versed in medical law, obligations law, ethics, and the intricate details of healthcare procedures. Their role involves investigating cases thoroughly, collaborating with medical experts to detect a breach of duty, and compiling compelling evidence to support their clients’ claims. Turkish medical malpractice lawyers stand up for their clients’ rights and interests and work towards securing fair settlements or pursuing litigation if necessary.
Legal Framework for Medical Malpractice:
In Turkey, medical malpractice falls under the broader scope of civil law, and specific regulations guide how these cases are handled. Articles relevant to construction agreements and tortious act regulated under the Turkish Code of Obligations outlines the legal basis for medical malpractice claims, stipulating the duty of healthcare providers to provide a certain standard of care to their patients.
Additionally, the “Turkish Medical Association’s Medical Deontology Regulation” sets ethical standards for medical practice too, which can also serve as evidence in medical malpractice cases. For protection of patient rights medical malpractice lawyers in Turkey use the legal framework below for medical malpractice cases:
- Constitution of Turkish Republic
- Law on the Protection of the Consumer
- Turkish Obligations Code
- Turkish Criminal Code
- Turkish Medical Association’s Medical Deontology Regulation
- Patient Rights Regulations
Responsibilities and Services of Turkish Medical Malpractice Lawyers
- Case Evaluation: Turkish medical malpractice lawyers assess the viability of a potential client case by reviewing his/her medical records and evidences, consulting with experts specialized on the field, and determining if the healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care.
- Evidence Collection: Turkish medical malpractice lawyers gather medical records, expert testimonies, and any relevant documents to build a strong case that demonstrates negligence on the part of the healthcare provider. Our Turkish medical malpractice lawyers send a strategic evidence list to our client candidates and expect the client candidate to provide us as many documents as possible stated therein. We ask also our clients to send us the sequences of events with dates which is basically a letter our client is informing us about his/her pre and post operation condition, what he/she has gone through, his/her material damages, name of the liable healthcare personnel and the healthcare provider so that we can explain every detail to the judge appointed to his/her case.
- Skillful Negotiation and Settlement: Some cases are settled out of court. Turkish medical malpractice lawyers negotiate with insurance companies or the opposing party to secure a fair settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress if parties are willing to settle.
- Litigation: In cases where a settlement cannot be reached, Turkish medical malpractice lawyers represent their clients in court, presenting evidence and arguments to prove the healthcare provider’s negligence.
- Advocacy: Beyond individual malpractice cases, Turkish medical malpractice lawyers contribute to raising awareness about patient rights and healthcare standards. They may participate in advocacy efforts to improve the legal framework surrounding medical malpractice.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice in general can be defined as harm caused by the physicians due to failure to perform the standard procedure during an operation or a treatment. If presence of action constituting malpractice is detected, doctors and related institutions that provide healthcare services can be legally held liable. Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital or a doctor causes an injury to a patient through their negligent actions or omissions.
Failure to fulfill the promised result in aesthetic operations and dental treatments constitutes medical malpractice too. Victims are generally not left with the aesthetic result they have asked the doctor to make. Since aesthetic surgeries are defined as construction agreements in our law system as per Turkish Obligations Code, the doctor is obliged to perform the result he undertook. So if we are able to prove with evidences that the doctor didn’t comply with his promise, result of the operation will be considered as medical malpractice.
On the other hand there might be other actions of doctor constituting medical malpractice too in each case, we have come face to face with cases where for example the hospital or the doctor is changing the fees right before the operation, charging you more, not making an allergy test before the operation, not making pregnancy tests, not informing the patient about risks and complications before the operation, making the operation or the surgery in an unhealthy environment thus causing infection, using low quality implants, using wrong method or surgical technique or directly conducting the wrong type surgery.
Examples of medical malpractice are not limited with these and can be extended. But in general in each case we detect more than one action constituting medical malpractice. In order to obtain a case evaluation you can contact with our Turkish medical malpractice lawyers and obtain more information relevant to your case and learn if you have a case or not.
Key Steps To Follow Before Building a Medical Malpractice Case
- Bring Witnesses: Bring a witness with you to the hospital or the clinic. Never take a surgery without taking a witness with you. Your witness can be a family member or a friend, anyone that will witness your experiences in the hospital. Witness statements will be needed for your moral compensation claim too.
- Proof of Payment: Take written proof of your payment. Try to deposit the amount to bank account of the hospital. The biggest mistake you will do is to make payment by hand and take no receipt as a proof of payment. We have seen before clinics acting with bad faith indicating within their reply petition that they haven’t seen or operated such a patient before and claim the lack of capacity to sue.
- Gathering Your Evidences: Make sure you collect documents from the hospital, especially epicrisis/discharge report. Remember that you have the right to ask your patient file.
- Observing Actions of the Personnels: Observe if the hospital will make you sign an informed consent form. If the consent form is not in your language or if your doctor didn’t enlighten you about content of the consent form especially about risks and complications of the surgery that may occur, this situation alone constitutes medical malpractice.
- Consult a Turkish Medical Malpractice Lawyer: If you realize that you are a victim of medical malpractice while you are still in the hospital, call immediately a Turkish Medical Malpractice Lawyer that can come over on-scene, provide you information on the immediate legal steps to be taken to build a strong case, file a formal complaint and collect your evidences along with your patient file.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Turkey
Turkish health law plays a pivotal role in shaping the healthcare landscape and safeguarding the rights of patients and healthcare providers. It provides a legal foundation for ensuring the ethical and professional conduct of medical practitioners, maintaining the quality of healthcare services, and establishing mechanisms for addressing disputes and grievances. Medical malpractice lawsuits in Turkey can broadly be categorized as civil malpractice lawsuits and criminal malpractice lawsuits.
If actions of the doctor constitutes malpractice, if the hospital is a private hospital you can file a civil litigation with material and moral compensation claims before the consumer courts. Before filing a civil litigation we send a warning letter to the hospital and the doctor and provide them a specific period of time so that they can compensate the amount.
If they don’t, then we proceed with mediation since it is cause of action, meaning that if you don’t apply to mediation and directly file the lawsuit, your lawsuit might be rejected by the judge due to lack of cause of action. Mediation is a dispute resolution method as per code of civil procedure and it is possible to close most of the cases through mediation if the healthcare provider is not a high turnover hospital. Generally high turnover hospitals are in the tendency to not close the file with settlement.
If parties don’t settle through mediation our medical malpractice lawyers in Turkey proceed with civil litigation which will take around 3 to 4 years depending on workload of the court of first instance, court of appeal and the supreme court. You can claim your surgery costs, expenses suffered after the surgery, accommodation and flight costs related to surgery and revision surgery, revision operation costs, emergency treatment costs and loss of income or compensation due to incapacity to work.
Moral compensation amount on the other hand will be determined by our lawyers in accordance with the material compensation amount in an amount that will not constitute unjust enrichment as per Turkish law.
On the other hand, client has the right to also file a criminal complaint against the doctor before the relevant chief public prosecutor’s office. We generally suggest our clients to proceed with both civil and criminal litigation since civil litigation will enable you to collect your material and moral damages while on the other hand, criminal litigation will cause the doctor to be put on trial due to -most of the time- Turkish Criminal Code, Article 89, reckless injury.
We can say that the distinction between civil and criminal malpractice cases serves multiple purposes in the Turkish legal system. Civil cases focus on compensating victims for their losses, while criminal cases prioritize holding professionals accountable for their actions to safeguard public trust in various professions, particularly in healthcare. If client is willing to pursue with criminal complaint, it is important to mention that client shall not to miss the complaint period of six months.
But even if client misses this period, if we obtain a report on his/her civil malpractice case indicating the doctor has gross negligence, client can proceed with his/her criminal complaint and he/she will not be limited with the complaint period of 6 months.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Turkey
Our law firm’s specialization in medical malpractice sets it apart as a legal powerhouse dedicated to addressing issues within the healthcare system. Their team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Turkey possesses an in-depth understanding of medical law, obligations law, ethics, and the intricacies of healthcare procedures.
This expertise enables our medical malpractice lawyers in Turkey to effectively navigate the complexities of medical malpractice cases, ensuring that both patients’ rights and professional standards are upheld. Central to our law firm’s mission is the protection of patient rights. In a field where the vulnerable may suffer harm due to negligence or misconduct, the firm has emerged as a staunch advocate for victims seeking justice.
By providing a voice to those who have suffered due to medical errors, our law firm not only seeks financial restitution but also contributes to a safer and more accountable healthcare environment.
Contact our Leading Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Turkey
Our law firm in Turkey stands as a beacon of excellence in the legal field, specifically in the realm of medical malpractice representation. Our medical malpractice lawyers in Turkey have won dozens of medical malpractice cases.
Their expertise, dedication to patient rights, and contributions to awareness and education have solidified their position as leading medical malpractice lawyers in Turkey. Through their work, they have not only transformed the lives of individual victims but have also contributed to fostering a culture of accountability and improved patient care within the Turkish healthcare system. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are all about empowering you with knowledge!