When you work hard for a living it’s important that you love what you do. Sometimes, even if you’re happy with your career, you become aware of another career field that fascinates you. Many people who feel this way combine their present career with another one. One example of a job that combines two career paths is a medical lawyer.
What is a Medical Lawyer?
A medical lawyer works with people whose situations use medical information at the same time as legal procedures. Clients of medical lawyers would have problems involving the medical lawyer’s expertise in both fields. Medical lawyers have to undergo many years of training, as they’d have to undergo training in both areas. Here are some examples of situations that might benefit from a medical lawyer consultation:
1. Disposal of Hazardous Medical Waste
When healthcare professionals care for their patients, their procedures create medical waste. Any medical waste containing body fluids or sharp edges is classified as hazardous waste. The waste is considered hazardous due to the risk of contracting diseases from contact with its materials. A healthcare facility will contract with a healthcare waste management service to help the facility safely dispose of this waste.
Healthcare waste management is a field that has the potential to cause the healthcare facility to request a medical lawyer consultation. While Federal regulations about hazardous medical waste are available to all healthcare facilities, compliance with these regulations is up to the individual organization. Each healthcare facility must have a written hazardous materials’ policy available to educate its staff and patients about how their medical waste will be handled.
Policies about healthcare waste management were developed by people knowledgeable about medicine and law. During the compilation of these policies, doctors were needed to determine how hazardous materials put people at risk for diseases – and which safer practices would prevent transmission of those diseases. Lawyers were required to formalize the legal aspects of these policies.
Healthcare facilities may have an in-house hazardous waste committee, where it would be advantageous to retain medical lawyers’ services.
2. Assisting Clients with Alcohol Treatment
People who abuse alcohol don’t always recognize the impact of their alcohol use. However, if alcohol abuse leads someone to cause an auto accident, the judge may mandate they enter a facility providing alcohol treatment services. These facilities will help the client detoxify from alcohol and then learn to cope with their problems without alcohol abuse. People in this situation may benefit from a medical lawyer consultation.
When a person in this situation goes to court, they need the services of a lawyer experienced in local laws about drunk driving. While dealing with the legal implications of their impaired driving, the medical lawyer can inform the client about the benefits of an alcohol treatment facility. The medical lawyer can also provide education about the harmful effects of alcohol abuse and the reinforcement of laws.
Alcohol treatment centers are knowledgeable about the effects of alcohol on the body. After the physical effects of alcohol have been removed from the client’s body, the client would undergo counseling and assistance from a counselor or psychiatrist. Depending on the nature of the events which initiated the referral to the treatment facility, the client may also need ongoing help to deal with legal consequences of their actions.
3. Advocating for Patients with Tobacco-Related Conditions
Many companies have in-house lawyers, and companies that make tobacco products are no exception. Since tobacco products can potentially cause health problems, tobacco companies may benefit from a medical lawyer consultation. If lawsuits are brought against a tobacco company, a medical lawyer is the best choice to examine the plaintiff’s medical records while also considering the prevailing legal implications.
In 1965, cigarette companies were first mandated to print health warnings on cigarette packages. Since then, tobacco company lawyers can respond to lawsuits with the rationale that the consumer has been forewarned about the medical risks of cigarettes. Medical lawyers working as legal counsel to cigarette companies are likely to advocate reinforcement of the right to individual choice.
On the other hand, the plaintiffs in these cases may also benefit from the services of a medical lawyer. With their combined bodies of knowledge, these lawyers are the ideal guide for someone suing a tobacco company. When a group of people brings one of these lawsuits (called a class action suit), medical lawyers can help to emphasize the medical problems incurred by the group.
4. Speaking for Those with Tongue Tie Surgery Complications
Some babies are born with a condition called ankyloglossia (“tongue-tie.) The condition results in the bottom of the tongue remaining attached to the mouth. When babies have this condition, they have difficulty with breastfeeding- and, eventually, speech. Because of the baby’s struggle during breastfeeding, it can also cause nipple pain for the mother.
The corrective surgery for this condition is simple and often done without sedation. Tongue tie surgery is also called a frenotomy or frenuloplasty, as the part of the tongue that attaches to the mouth is called the frenulum. A frenotomy can resolve the baby’s breastfeeding problem and prevent speech or eating problems.
In addition to bleeding at the time of the procedure, tongue tie surgery may occasionally result in infection or scarring. In rare cases, the surgery can damage the salivary glands or tongue. The baby’s parents may consider a medical lawyer consultation when this occurs. A medical lawyer is the ideal professional to handle a lawsuit dealing with a frenotomy complication.
5. Defending Doctors from Malpractice Suits
When healthcare professionals are sued for malpractice, they need a skilled lawyer to defend them. During a malpractice court case, the doctor could be defended by a medical malpractice lawyer. However, malpractice cases are ideal for requesting a medical lawyer consultation. Some medical lawyers specialize in medical malpractice cases.
To qualify as a malpractice case, a patient must prove a doctor or other medical professional did not meet the medical standard of care. A medical lawyer can help the patient confirm their case meets those criteria. However, a medical lawyer can also represent a doctor – and argue the case doesn’t meet those criteria.
Medical lawyers’ knowledge of both medicine and law is invaluable for these cases. All lawyers must attend law school and pass the state bar to work as lawyers. Students who want to be medical lawyers can prepare by taking courses emphasizing medical law while they’re in law school.
6. Helping Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Patients
When patients decide they want a slimmer belly, they sometimes opt to have liposuction or have a tummy tuck done. Liposuction is the removal, by suctioning, of body fat through an inserted cannula. A tummy tuck (an abdominoplasty) removes fat, skin, and body tissue while tightening the abdominal muscles. Plastic surgeons can perform liposuction and tummy tucks, although dermatologists can also perform liposuction.
People who choose liposuction or tummy tucks are told beforehand that there will be a scar after those procedures. The tummy tuck will leave a more prominent scar. Liposuction complications can include bruising, unexpected swelling, infection, or weakness. Tummy tuck complications may consist of abnormal bleeding, infection, delayed wound healing, and loss of skin sensation from the surgery.
If someone decides to get a liposuction tummy tuck, they should get a medical lawyer consultation if a complication occurs. Medical lawyers’ combined knowledge and experience will provide the proper assistance for the court case. These professionals can advise the client and support them during the court case.
7. Working with People Receiving Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone is a hormone that influences several body functions, including muscle health and red blood cell production. It’s also responsible for the sexual reproductive function in males. Testosterone decreases as men age and can affect their energy, muscle mass, and sexual function. Urologists (doctors treating urinary problems) and endocrinologists (doctors treating hormonal problems) can prescribe testosterone therapy for men with low testosterone.
Men who have been treated with testosterone therapy report an improvement in their sexual function. They also experience an increase in endurance and stamina. Testosterone is administered by injection, patches, gels, or capsules.
In some cases, men have experienced complications from testosterone therapy – including heart attacks or strokes. When this occurs, men may seek a medical lawyer consultation. Since these lawsuits require knowledge of medical facts and product liability laws, a medical lawyer is ideal for handling these cases.
8. Protecting People Attacked by Animals
If a person has been attacked and injured by an animal, they may be hurt and overwhelmed. They will need assistance from a professional who can evaluate the extent of their injuries. They also need someone who can discern whether the situation qualifies for suing the pet owner. The best way to ensure both aspects are considered is to seek a medical lawyer consultation.
When a person is involved in an animal attack, the most important thing for them to do is to get medical help. Some states require the victim to report to their local Board of Animal Control. The victim may need to go to where the attack occurred to gather names and contact information for any witnesses. They should begin to consider using the services of an animal attack injury attorney.
If a pet caused the attack, the victim may feel empathetic toward the pet owner, but they should remain objective during the legal process. State laws vary as to the extent to which a pet’s owner is responsible for the injuries received by the victim. A medical lawyer would be able to evaluate the circumstances of the animal attack and advise the victim regarding the state’s laws. If the case goes to court, the medical lawyer will continue to support and advise the attack victim.
9. Helping People Injured by Car Accident
Most people have heard of the benefits a lawyer can provide for someone involved in a car accident. However, if a participant in a car accident wants to be sure they get the support and assistance they need, they should ask for a medical lawyer consultation. Each state has different regulations regarding how drivers are charged in a car accident.
Car accidents can cause immediate injuries and lead to injuries that don’t show up until a few days later. A professional and experienced car accident lawyer can look at all aspects of the case and provide the best possible guidance. A medical lawyer can represent both drivers, especially if both drivers were injured. During the court phase of a lawsuit, both drivers would be fairly represented.
One of the drivers may be charged with restless driving or driving while intoxicated. When this occurs, it will mean that the driver needs additional guidance from their attorney. A medical lawyer can defend the driver and provide continued education about State laws. They can also refer them to an alcohol treatment facility after settling the lawsuit.
10. Providing Support for Gamblers
Gambling can be fun if it is enjoyed in moderation. However, some gamblers may allow their gambling enjoyment to get out of hand. A gambler can become so intent on finding funds for more gambling that they may turn to theft or other illegal actions. Some gamblers have stolen from their employers or participated in cybercrimes.
When a gambler’s habit becomes that extent, they may realize they have become a gambling addict. Recovery from a gambling addiction takes many of the same interventions used to help alcoholics or drug addicts. If someone realizes their gambling habit has become an addiction, they should look for a facility offering local gambling counseling.
If the gambler has committed crimes and admits they need mental health intervention for a gambling addiction, they may be helped by a medical lawyer consultation. These professionals could offer the gambler direction and assistance with their legal problems. They can also help them develop coping mechanisms to recover from the gambling addiction. This process will also need the help and support of the gambler’s family.
As you can see, there are many times a medical lawyer is precisely the right person to call. All the above situations could be overwhelming without the right person’s support. If someone has a problem that must be considered from medical and legal viewpoints, they’ll want to search for a medical lawyer consultation.