Medical Malpractice Claims: A How-To Guide
If you or a loved one sustained harm or injury due to medical negligence, you may be a viable candidate for a medical malpractice lawsuit. While you might think your case is straightforward, medical malpractice cases are actually quite complex and can often be difficult to prove. While medical malpractice lawsuits paid out $3.6 billion in 2013, that doesn’t mean that every case is a home run. Some cases may be clear-cut while others aren’t likely to be pursued in a court of law.
When you or someone you know has been harmed due to unskilled, improper, or negligent treatment at the hands of a licensed healthcare professional and you want to pursue a claim, you need help from a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Your lawyer can explain the steps of your case in detail and will determine whether or not you have a good chance of winning your case in court. But before you start to go down this road, we’ve prepared a brief how-to guide. We hope this will provide you with valuable information and will let you know what to expect.
Step 1: Consult with a medical malpractice lawyer
You might assume that you should tell your physician about your concerns first, but your first step should actually be to talk to an attorney. Specifically, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases. He or she will have the experience and resources necessary to analyze your case and make a determination about whether it should be brought to court. If your lawyer decides your case should be pursued, he or she will walk you through the process.
Step 2: Obtain medical records
You’ll need to obtain all the documentation you can for your case. Make a formal request in writing to the hospital or medical office where the incident took place for any records relating to appointments and procedures. Tests, consultations, assessments, and surgical records should be collected. If you have evidence that proves the doctor/patient relationship like appointment cards or physical appointment records, collect those as well. Photographic evidence can also be a real asset.
Step 3: Determine the scope of negligence
Your attorney and his/her network of medical professionals will need to use your records to determine the type and degree of negligence that occurred. Your attorney will likely send your records to a medical expert he or she trusts during this step. It may also be helpful to obtain a second opinion after this step to ensure that a third party agrees with the existing assessment. If you, your lawyer, and other medical professionals can prove that your injury was directly caused by medical incompetence or negligence, then your attorney will recommend bringing the case to court or may try to aim for an out-of-court settlement.
If you feel you have grounds for a medical malpractice suit, our highly experienced law team can help you get the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.