Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a medical health provider who competently performs their medical duties. Most states have placed procedural rules in medical malpractice plaintiffs’ path to ensure the claims are valid. Moreover, the state rules and requirements for making a medical malpractice claim vary from state to state. (Image Credit: Sasin Tipchai/Pixabay)
It is necessary to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit once you determine that medical negligence resulted in an injury or death. Different situations can lead to medical malpractice claims:
- Medication errors
- Failure to provide a duty of informed consent
To prove claims of medical malpractice, you need to show the existence of the physician-patient relationship and the proof of negligence. However, most majority of the medical malpractice lawsuits result in defense verdicts before the jury. While most medical health care providers exercise the highest standard of care, there are times things go wrong. Being proactive about medical care is undoubtedly necessary to understand your health. Below are the tips required to file a medical malpractice claim.
1. Hiring a Lawyer
Above all, hiring a qualified attorney is critical to the success of a medical malpractice case. First and foremost, medical malpractice laws vary significantly from state to state. Consequently, medical malpractice is a niche area of law that requires a lawyer who specializes in it. It is often essential to get representation from an excellent medical malpractice attorney with medical law experience in the state where the malpractice occurred. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be familiar with the procedural know-how to ensure your case is in a position for the best chance of success. Most medical malpractice lawyers provide a potential free consultation where you can discuss your case and receive legal advice and guidance. It is a good idea to contact several medical malpractice attorneys and determine who is the best fit.
2. Contact Medical Provider
Medical records are the best evidence in medical malpractice cases. To get the medical malpractice claim started, you need to contact the medical provider who attended to you. It is essential to gather all medical records related to the supposed malpractice. You need to sign a release allowing your attorney and defendant’s attorney to obtain copies of your medical records. When the attorneys get your medical records, they can begin to analyze the information therein. The attorneys have the liberty to pull witnesses they can use during the case. Besides, your lawyers will be able to tell if you have a strong chance or if the evidence provided is sufficient enough.
3. Special Requirements
Medical malpractice cases need to be brought soon after the discovery of the incident. Most states have a statute of limitations that limit when a person can legally carry a case forward. The specific restrictions vary depending on the jurisdiction in which you reside. It is essential to determine the statutes of limitation in your particular state to ensure the period for filing your claim does not run out. Many countries need you first to submit the medical claim to a malpractice review panel. The experts will hear arguments and review the evidence, then decide whether malpractice occurred.
Note that the panel decision does not replace the actual medical malpractice lawsuit. It is a requirement to have an expert affidavit at the malpractice review panel before commencing the trial. It is often helpful to notice a potential lawsuit for healthcare providers and their insurance companies.
4. Filing the Medical Malpractice Claim
Lastly, the final step in commencing a medical malpractice case is drafting and filing a formal complaint in civil court. The complaint is a recitation of the allegations against the medical health provider. Your attorney will obtain all the necessary evidence to prepare and prosecute the case of the lawsuit. The defense attorneys will investigate and decide on their position and file the settlement negotiation process will begin. It is crucial to note that medical malpractice cases can be costly and time-consuming. It may help settle out of court, or if you believe you have a strong claim, you should seek to take the case to trial. Negotiations may take some time, depending on the merit of the case and the amount of money involved.
Medical malpractice cases are complex. If not careful, you may end up missing your compensation or receive less than what you deserve. Finding a reliable medical malpractice lawyer will have a significant impact on the chances of success. You want an attorney who has tried cases and understands what it takes to win. You improve your chances of prevailing with the right medical malpractice lawyer for your needs.