If you’ve ever gone to a healthcare facility only to have your condition worsen, you might have experienced medical malpractice. With such, you can file a claim or lawsuit against the medical practitioner or the healthcare facility. Before anything else, you must understand that specific conditions need to be met before filing for medical malpractice. Knowing this will prevent you from unnecessarily getting angry or filing a lawsuit.
Basically, medical malpractice can only occur if there’s negligence. Additionally, just because an injury occurs doesn’t automatically mean negligence since other numerous factors influence injury. For instance, the injury must have caused you damages like losing your job or inability to work. In these instances, you may follow these steps to take if you suspect medical malpractice:
1. Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Firstly, you need to consult a medical malpractice attorney. Talk to them about your situation, and ask if you can file a lawsuit against your attending physician or the medical facility.
If you pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need representation. Most hospitals have large firms ready to fight back malpractice lawsuits. As an untrained ordinary citizen, you’ll have a complex time maneuvering and fighting against a team of lawyers. Thus, it’s paramount that you find professional help and guidance by looking for the top med mal lawyer.
These medical malpractice attorneys have the experience to handle lawsuits specific to medical malpractice. They’ve been studying their whole lives to provide the correct guidance.
Moreover, you won’t have to worry about filing and writing down forms to begin your lawsuit; attorneys will process everything for you from start to finish.
Mainly, having a trained and experienced medical malpractice attorney in the field will undoubtedly result in you getting justice. Just look for reviews and ads online to see which lawyer is best suited to handle your type of malpractice.
2. To File or Not
After consulting with a lawyer, they can tell you whether to file the lawsuit or get a settlement. You can decide on this by asking your lawyer if you have the chance of winning. Since most cases can run into months or years before resolution, you must be sure that in the end, you’re victorious.
If not, a settlement might be your best option.
3. Act Fast
Since you already have a lawyer, you may start processing before the statute of limitations ends. The statute of limitations determines the time limit of when you can file a lawsuit for certain cases. Generally, it’s rooted in the idea that if you didn’t file a lawsuit for a specific amount of time, you must have forgiven the person.
Depending on where you live, the limitation could be as small as one year to 10 years. Thus, you must not sit and wait to decide to file this lawsuit. As soon as you experience medical malpractice, file it as quickly as possible.
4. Obtain Copies of Your Medical Records
However, no matter how quickly you can file a claim, your claim or lawsuit may not prosper if you don’t have the proper documents. The key to a successful case is always adequate documentation and the availability of factual information. Thus, it would help if you started compiling medical records as soon as possible to strengthen your case.
Additionally, make these files available to your attorney to keep him abreast of the whole situation. In case the hospital is withholding information, don’t be easily dismayed. Acquiring your medical records is your right.
5. Complete the Pre-Suit Process
Most importantly, you should complete a formal investigatory process at the start or a pre-suit process. The investigation will need your cooperation and participation. If you fail to assist in the investigation, most states will dismiss the lawsuit outright.
Since some states require a pre-suit process, you must do your research to prevent issues even before any lawsuit is filed. The general principle behind this is to prevent frivolous lawsuits and waste taxpayers money; thus, it encourages early settlements.
The process generally takes about 90 days to complete. Basically, the complainant will have to file a notice of intent to initiate the process. It’s assumed that the complainant has done an unbiased investigation of the complaint’s merits within the notice. Thus, it’s assuring the lawsuit to be done is based on facts.
Throughout the process, your lawyer will help you.
A lawsuit is necessary if you think medical malpractice has negatively affected your work and daily life. However, a medical malpractice lawsuit is a complex and lengthy process. Thus, you may want to do the steps above to ascertain your chances of winning. That way, you can avoid months or years of pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, resulting in a negative outcome. That’s why hiring a medical malpractice lawyer is essential from the time you start to suspect medical malpractice.