Expert Tips for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice can lead to serious and sometimes even fatal injuries, and it is usually caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Common examples of medical malpractices that often lead to injuries or deaths include wrong diagnosis, unnecessary treatments, wrong prescriptions, hospital infections, errors in healthcare facilities, and side effects of medication.
If you suspect that you have suffered as a result of any of these actions, you can file a medical malpractice claim. There are different steps that you should follow if you want to get the compensation you deserve. On that note, here are some expert tips for filing a medical malpractice claim.
Get Copies of Your Medical Records
Your medical records are the main evidence you will need in a medical malpractice case. You should first sign a release form to allow your attorneys to access copies of your medical records. Then, you need to deliver the copies to your attorneys so that they can analyze them in-depth. Your lawyers can also solicit medical opinions from other doctors to better assess and understand your case. Your lawyer will advise you against filing a lawsuit if they believe that the damages were not caused by the medical practitioner’s negligence.
Talk to Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer
A medical malpractice claim is quite complicated since hospitals and healthcare providers usually have big insurance companies backing them up. The Washington-based medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Law explain that it is nearly impossible to win your claim against the liable party’s insurance company without an experienced attorney by your side. Your lawyer will ensure that you file the case before the expiry of the statute of limitations.
Your medical malpractice attorney will first investigate and evaluate all aspects of your case to establish if they merit a lawsuit. With the help of your lawyer, you have better chances of proving negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit and winning your case. To do this, you must demonstrate the following:
- The medical professional was negligent
- Damages or injuries caused by negligence
- The doctor did not provide a standard quality of care
- The proximate causes of injury
Notify the Health Care Provider
You need to notify the healthcare provider in question about your intention to file a medical malpractice claim following your injuries. You can also send a formal or informal notification to your doctor’s insurance company. In most cases, the parties involved can reach an acceptable settlement amicably, eliminating the need to file a lawsuit at the court of law.
Comply with Pre-Suit Requirements
In every state, there are varying pre-filing requirements that claimants should follow when they file medical malpractice cases. You need to get an affidavit of merit that outlines the standard of medical care that has been violated. You need expert support from medical professionals and legal experts to prove that you have grounds to file a lawsuit. If you fail to comply with the state’s pre-suit requirements, your case may be dismissed.
You Should Meet the Deadline
All civil cases, including medical malpractice cases, have time limits that are called a statute of limitations. Various states have different deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims. If the statute of limitations expires before filing a claim, you may lose your legal right to recover any benefits for your injuries. That is why you must hire a locally-based lawyer who is familiar with your state’s statute of limitations to protect and exercise your rights.
Consider out of Court Settlement
A medical malpractice claim can be time-consuming and costly. You need to consider the option of setting out of court if the doctor accepts responsibility for contributing to your injury. An expert attorney will help you negotiate a fair settlement and recover maximum compensation for your suffering. If you have strong evidence to support your case, you can take it to trial.
Filing the Medical Malpractice Case
If you fail to reach an agreement with the healthcare provider involved, you can consider filing a complaint in civil court. The lawsuit begins when you file a formal complaint against the doctor or hospital, provided that you have a strong case against them. However, you should know that the outcome of your case depends on the jury, so don’t be over-optimistic about the final verdict.
In some instances, the healthcare providers’ negligence can lead to injuries or disabilities, which qualify as a medical practice. Medical malpractice can also lead to death in more serious situations. If you have a strong case of medical malpractice against a doctor, you can file a claim. However, there are different steps that you should take to prove and win your case, starting with collecting all relevant medical records to enlisting the services of a professional lawyer to handle your claim.