Based on a recent discovery by WHO, millions of people die every year due to medical negligence caused by healthcare professionals. These negligencies can range from doctors and hospital staff failing to meet the medical standards of care to poor medical decisions made by doctors.
Regardless of the cause, these tragedies send families into a pit of despair, trying to determine what they should do next.
The justice system has set a few practices and measures that allow individuals to sue any involved care professionals for such circumstances. That way, victims of medical negligence are compensated for the losses and damages that resulted from these errors. This process is referred to as filing a medical malpractice claim in clear terms. It is pretty much the only way for people to receive justice for what happened to them.
If you are a victim of medical malpractice or know someone who is, below are a few steps that will assist you in filing a medical malpractice claim:
1. Get an experienced medical lawyer involved
Because of the complexities of medical malpractice cases and the need to work with health experts, it is vital to retain an experienced lawyer. An attorney qualifying for a lawsuit is someone who has handled malpractice claims in the past and is well-aware of all the relevant rules and laws that must be applied. Moreover, working with a lawyer from the beginning allows your attorney more time to explore your case and build a solid argument that will help you seek justice.
2. Reach out to the medical professional involved
The second step is to contact the medical professional involved in your case. Most healthcare experts are willing to perform services (sometimes for free) to rectify a problem or provide a solution in most cases. Your goal is to understand what went wrong and allow your doctor to determine whether it can be fixed.
3. Get your medical records in order.
In most medical malpractice cases, medical records are the most reliable evidence. You can jumpstart this process by demanding a copy of your records as soon as you believe you have a case. Giving your attorney a copy of your records as quickly as possible will allow them to begin thoroughly analyzing the case and crowdsource medical opinions from other medical professionals. Due to privacy laws, you need to sign a release allowing your attorney to obtain copies of your medical records.
It is entirely possible that, after a thorough review of your records, an attorney will suggest filing a lawsuit. They might even conclude that your damages are not the result of medical negligence from a health care provider. The sooner specialists can review your records, the sooner you’ll know whether your lawsuit has a good chance of succeeding.
4. Know how much time do you have to file a lawsuit
When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, it’s critical to know how much time you have to do so legally. All civil claims, including medical malpractice cases, have time restrictions for filing. These time restrictions, known as “statutes of limitations,” require you to file your claim over a particular time from the date of the injury. If you are not on time, you risk losing your right to compensation for your damages. In medical malpractice, the statute of limitations exceptions also exist- look into them before filing your claim. Therefore, check the statutes of limitation in your state to ensure that the time limit for filing your claim does not expire.
5. Get a medical exam to confirm the validity of your case
Many states require patients to file a “certificate of merit” before filing a medical malpractice case. It helps prove that the injuries you sustained may have occurred by the negligence of a health care professional. To submit a certificate of merit, you must first consult with an expert, typically another physician.
This specialist will review your medical records and accredit your injuries. Next, the lawyer you hire will document the certificate of merit, which validates that you spoke with a medical expert and justified your action.
6. Determine whether the duty of care was met.
The primary relationship between the patient and the medical professional is the duty of care. These are medical standards established by profession as reasonable in the circumstances.
Patients have the right to expect medical professionals to provide care that meets these standards. In a malpractice case, the injured party’s responsibility is to demonstrate evidence. At the same time, the defense must verify that their work was under their duty of care.
Think about an out-of-court settlement. Medical malpractice cases can be time-consuming and expensive, so most such cases get settled outside of court. Furthermore, because medical malpractice insurers reject a large percentage of lawsuits, it may be in your best interest to decide out of court. However, keep in mind that you should seek a larger settlement if you believe you have a solid argument.
So these were a few of the essential steps for filing a medical malpractice claim. While you work with an attorney to seek justice, ensure that person knows the ins and outs of the legal world. After all, you don’t want to end up with someone who offers no help and rips you off your money. Thus, perform your research and then proceed with someone who is not only knowledgeable and experienced but trustworthy and sympathetic about your case.