First Steps in a Medical Malpractice Case

Patients who have been harmed by the fault of doctors and medical professionals will usually cause the patients to sue and file for legal claims. Typically, the measure of whether a medical provider was “negligent,” or failed to provide proper care, turns on whether the patient would have received the same standard of care from another medical provider under similar circumstances.

There are times when the medical professionals go wrong in the decision that they choose to undertake even if they only want to help the patients. You can always go to the court to ask for legal compensation if you have been aggrieved by medical malpractice of your medical provider.

Below are some basic first steps in bringing a medical malpractice case.

Contact the Medical Professional Involved

You need to contact your medical professional before any suit that you want to file. You need to hear first the possible justification that he or she might have. Your goal is to get an understanding of what may have gone wrong and allow your doctor to determine whether it is something that can be remedied. In most cases, the medical professionals would be willing to render more services because they are more open to settlement than actually facing a lawsuit.

Contact the Relevant Medical Licensing Board

The licensing board for the medical professionals may also be good to be contacted to gather more information. While licensing boards typically cannot order the professional to compensate you, they give out warnings or issuances or they can choose discipline to the practitioner and may be able to provide you with guidance about your next steps.

Know How Long You Have to File a Claim

You need to consider the amount of time that you have whenever you choose to avail to file a claim or a lawsuit. All civil claims, including medical malpractice cases, have time limits as to when they must be filed. These limits, called “statutes of limitations,” require you to file your claim within a certain time period from when the injury occurred, or risk waiving your rights to recover money for your injuries. In order to make sure that you have the accurate information, you should go to your specific state records because different states would have different rules.

Get a Medical Assessment to Confirm Your Case Has Merit

Most states are now requiring the patients to get a “certificate of merit.” This is in order to determine that the injuries you suffered was the result of negligence on the part of a health care professional. The certificate of merit can be obtained by contacting the authorities and giving them the documents that they ask from you. The attorney that you hire will now file the certificate of merit, which confirms that you spoke with a medical expert and that your action has merit.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

When trying to look for a medical malpractice attorney, you should check his track records to know that he is experienced and competent in handling such cases. During your initial meeting, you will need to tell the attorney as much detail as possible surrounding the events that led up to your injury. Bringing the relevant documents would also help your attorney to assess and evaluate your case.

Consider an Out-of-Court Settlement

It is the court that settles medical malpractice cases. In addition, because medical malpractice insurance companies reject a significantly large portion of medical malpractice claims, it may be in your best interest to settle out-of-court or risk having no case at all. However, it should be noted that if you are confident with your case, you should aim to file your claims in the court than just agree on settlements.

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