For healthcare providers and practitioners, allegations of wrongdoing aren’t just business – they’re intensely personal. Providers need experienced advocates to make an uncomfortable process as comfortable as possible.
Doctors and healthcare professionals devote their lives to helping patients. When that work is challenged in a court of law, it threatens their reputation, their livelihood, and their future. To combat that threat, they need an attorney who understands more than just the law. You need someone who understands the medicine, the industry, and what it takes to preserve your reputation.
At Lincoln Derr, we work tirelessly for our clients all the way from pre-litigation to the courtroom. Our areas of expertise cover a range of cases:
- Birth Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Surgical/Anesthesia Complications
- Informed Consent
- Sexual Misconduct
- Regulatory Violations (HIPAA, EMTALA)
- Professional Licensure Claims
- Negligence/Emotional Distress
- Administrative Negligence (Medical practices and hospitals)
We Know the Industry
Our team has over 150 years of combined experience in the healthcare field. We have in-depth knowledge of North Carolina’s medical records laws, electronic medical records (EMR), state licensing, and the boards that preside over the medical and related fields. And we’ve developed a strong rapport with the judges in the jurisdictions that will hear your case.
We’ll Source Experts When Needed
The subject matter in medical malpractice cases can be incredibly complex. To get to the truth, judges and jurors often need input from expert witnesses to make sense of it all. We thoroughly research and vet all objective reviewers to confirm credibility and expertise.
We’ll Fight For Your Livelihood
When we represent you, you can trust that we will do it with professionalism and passion. We care about the welfare of each and every client, and we commit to being there for you — 24/7 — so we can take the worry off your plate.
We dedicate at least two skilled attorneys to every case. Our collaborative approach means we’re sourcing input and expertise from every member of our staff, so you get the most value and the best possible result.
We’ll help you assess and manage your risk at the outset and as the case unfolds in court if it comes to that. Our job is to do what’s in the best interests of our clients, but we’re also ready to fight hard for our clients when we need to.
Should a complaint be filed and your license called into question, we can represent you before any applicable boards. We will ensure you’re treated with respect inside and outside the courtroom.
Healthcare Liability: Featured News & Podcasts
October 2, 2023
If Roles Were Reversed
This poem was written by Tricia Morvan Derr, a malpractice defense trial lawyer, to her surgeon on the eve of surgery. (All went well, BTW…) IF ROLES WERE REVERSED…. I would tell you, “Don’t worry! My job is to […]Read More
August 18, 2022
5 Lincoln Derr Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers in America 2023
Congratulations to Sara Lincoln, Tricia Derr, Scott Addison, Heather Fuller, and Ashley Bartolucci for being recognized in the 29th Edition of Best Lawyers in America© and Ones to Watch. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become […]Read More
June 6, 2022
Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict for Lincoln Derr
Lincoln Derr is pleased to announce that Tricia Derr, paralegal Christian Whittington, and co-counsel Adam Peoples (of Hall Booth Smith) recently secured a medical malpractice defense verdict in a three-week jury trial litigated in Asheville, North Carolina. This recent result marks the third defense verdict for Lincoln Derr in the last month.
The case was a wrongful death case involving an intraoperative complication. During surgery, the surgeon attempted to clip an artery with a device. The device did not control the bleeding and the patient suffered extensive hemorrhage that caused her death.Read More
Thought Leadership Series
Our Attorneys in Action
Attention to detail can make or break a case. Several years ago, our co-founder Sara Lincoln was in the midst of a sinus surgery case that came down to a choice of equipment. The doctor had used surgical loupes, but opposing counsel claimed that an endoscope was the better choice and brought in an expert to vouch for it. They didn’t count on Sara reading the fine print.
Healthcare Liability FAQs
Can you help with pre-litigation representation?
Absolutely. In fact, it’s highly recommended any time you have an unexpected adverse outcome. Lincoln Derr attorneys routinely consult with clients on risk management issues and pre-litigation matters. Complications and near misses happen in all areas of medicine, many times despite reasonable and appropriate care. Utilizing practical tips from our combined experiences and the cases we have defended, in addition to understanding the ramifications to a healthcare provider in either resolving or denying a claim, we offer unique problem-solving options to realize the goals of our clients.
Is Lincoln Derr familiar with healthcare regulations?
Yes. Many regulatory risks may arise in the career of a healthcare professional, and Lincoln Derr attorneys are available to assist. Our regulatory representation includes, among other areas, defense of claims involving improper billing practices, employee retaliation or valid termination practices, EMTALA violations, HIPAA violations, off-label use of equipment or medication, media content liability, oversight of affiliate clinicians, telemedicine issues, social media presence, digital apps malfunctioning, communications with patients, and medical board investigations.
We have a proven track record in matters brought before the North Carolina Medical Board, including claims of provider substance abuse or overprescribing. We have successfully represented physicians and other healthcare providers in investigations, at compliance conferences, and at administrative hearings and appeals.
How do medical malpractice lawsuits work in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, a medical malpractice lawsuit arises when a plaintiff files a complaint alleging he or she was injured due to a healthcare provider failing to comply with the applicable standards of practice, failing to use his or her best judgment, or failing to use reasonable care and diligence in the treatment of that patient.
What is the standard of care?
The standard of care is a reasonable approach, practice, or procedure for a particular medical situation that is accepted by the medical community in a particular geographic location. This can vary depending on where the medical service was provided or the medical condition at issue, and the standard of care may encompass numerous approaches or practices applicable to a particular condition or situation.
A breach of the standard of care means a failure to provide medical treatment consistent with an accepted standard. If this failure causes actual injury, the injured individual, or his or her estate in instances of a wrongful death lawsuit, is entitled to damages under the law. A healthcare provider may also be liable if he or she fails to use his or her best judgment in the treatment or care of the patient or fails to use reasonable care and diligence in the application of his or her knowledge and skill in the treatment of the patient.
Can I be held liable for an injury under the law?
Yes. If a plaintiff can establish a breach of a duty owed by the healthcare provider, he or she then must prove that the healthcare provider’s breach or failure proximately caused an injury. A breach with no injury is not compensable. In addition to proving that the healthcare provider was negligent, plaintiffs must also prove that the negligence actually caused some compensable injury.
Similarly, damages for emotional distress are only compensable if the plaintiff actually suffered severe emotional distress. So, hurt feelings, annoyance, or mere inconvenience are not compensable injuries.
What are the potential legal damages for medical malpractice under North Carolina law?
Damages may include both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are those directly resulting from the injuries sustained, such as lost wages, medical bills, and “non-economic” damages such as pain and suffering. In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly capped the recoverable amount of non-economic damages at $500,000 (adjusted for inflation every three years, it currently stands at $533,409). The cap may not apply, however, where the healthcare provider’s alleged actions constitute indifference to the rights and safety of others.
Punitive damages seek to punish wrongful conduct and may only be sought when the healthcare provider’s conduct can be described as willful or wanton. In medical malpractice actions, punitive damages are rarely awarded, as the vast majority of healthcare providers diligently work to help their patients.