Medical malpractice lawsuits are generally filed by patients who were hurt because of poor medical treatment or mistaken diagnosis from a doctor, nurse or other medical professionals. Normally, the measure of the medical professional’s negligence hinges upon whether the person would have gotten the same level of care from another doctor under the same circumstances.
Most medical professionals attempt to provide a high standard of care for their patients, but there are times when serious medical malpractice occurs.
If you are thinking about filing a claim, here are five things that medical malpractice attorneys think you should do first:
#1 Contact The Doctor or Medical Professional
Before you file your claim, get in touch with the medical professional who worked with you. You want to have an understanding of what went wrong and let the doctor decide whether there is something to be done to remedy the situation.
Usually, the doctor will be willing to perform a medical service to correct the problem. They may even do this free of charge.
#2 Contact Your Local Medical Licensing Board
If you do not get anywhere by contacting the doctor, the next step is to contact the licensing board that controls medical licenses in your state. Licensing boards cannot force the doctor to compensate you, but they can provide a warning or discipline the doctor and could give you some advice on the next steps to take.
#3 Remember that Your Time to File a Claim Is Limited
When you are thinking about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is critical to know how much time you have to file the claim. All claims have time limits regarding when they may be filed. These are called statutes of limitations. They require you to file your legal action within a certain period of time from when the incident occurred. The statute of limitations can range from one to four years in many states. So, it is important to not wait too long before you file your claim.
#4 Have an Independent Medical Assessment
More states today require a patient to file what is called a ‘certificate of merit’ before beginning a medical malpractice case. This is to determine whether the injuries you have resulted from the negligence of a medical professional.
To file this document, you need to contact a medical expert, usually another doctor. This doctor will review your case and confirm whether or not your doctor followed accepted medical practices. The medical malpractice attorney you hire will file this certificate of merit. This confirms that you spoke with a medical professional and your case does have merit.
#5 Think About Settling Out of Court
A medical malpractice lawsuit takes time and is expensive. That is why most of these cases are settled out of court. Also, because medical malpractice insurance companies turn down a lot of medical malpractice claims, it could be in your best interest to settle your case out of court or you could risk getting nothing. But keep in mind, if you think your medical malpractice case is a strong one, you may want to go after a larger settlement. You should talk to your medical malpractice law firm like Wapner Newman Attorneys at Law to determine whether there is a possibility of a larger settlement.
Medical malpractice claims can result in a high level of compensation, depending upon the injuries and pain and suffering you have endured. But finding the right medical malpractice attorney is often the difference between a major settlement and walking away with nothing. A good, experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to quickly assess the strength of your claim. He or she can advise you on the best legal course of action to ensure you get the result that you want.