Tips For Preparing to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
One place that people don’t expect to be injured is in a hospital, but it is, unfortunately, a possibility. Rules regarding the standards of care and standard medical operating procedures have been drafted and implemented to protect patients. However, there is still a chance you could be injured because of the hospital staff’s negligence.
The nature of the injury could be minor or result in a lifelong condition. In any case, you’re looking at more hospital bills and a longer recovery time. This could negatively affect you emotionally and practically, as the medical malpractice could be serious enough to interfere with your work. If you have found yourself in this troublesome situation, this guide will help you understand how to prepare for and file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Assess if your case has merit
The first thing you need to determine is if you have enough evidence to plead your case. You can do this by looking over the incidents and decisions made during your treatment and determining if the damage is related to a mistake made by the hospital’s staff.
For instance, let’s say you were considering a cerebral palsy lawsuit against the doctor responsible for birth injury trauma to your child. The first thing you need to do is understand if the mistake made by the medical staff could have resulted in cerebral palsy.
There are a few common mistakes that lead to this medical condition, such as the doctor failing to perform a C-section, surgical errors during a C-section, scheduling the procedure after it’s too late, using excessive force with birth-assisting tools, or mistakes in anesthesia administration. The best way to know if the medical mistake is connected to the issue being faced by you or a loved one is to consult a medical and legal specialist.
When you’re dealing with a medical malpractice suit, a few different parties are involved. You might need to deal with most if not all of these parties while pursuing a case.
Talk to the medical professional involved
There is a difference between a doctor who makes a mistake and one who refuses to accept a mistake made. Many medical professionals follow a strict ethical code and would be inclined to set things right. You can consult with the doctor or other medical professional involved in the erroneous treatment and seek their opinion. Along with the ethical value, they would be motivated to settle the matter without going to court. Both of you would be able to avoid lawyer fees and prolonged debates if you could come to a settlement this way. It’s worth seeing if they can offer a solution and if you feel that solution is worth the damages you have been dealt.
Consult a lawyer
When you’re seeking medical treatment, you always get a second opinion. This is no different, and after talking to the medical professional, you should talk to a lawyer. Various law firms deal with these malpractice cases, and they should be able to guide you well. Consulting a lawyer is not only faster and more accurate than researching the law yourself, but it can also give you an idea of how strong your case is.
If there is precedent for the issue, you’d be in a stronger negotiating position. Lawyers will also help you avoid some of the tactics antagonistic hospitals use to deter patients from taking legal action. A law firm will also give you a great idea of what you can expect in terms of pay-out if the case goes to court, so you can decide if it’s worth the time, effort, and money.
Consult the licensing board
Speaking to the medical board can provide a great boost to your case. A licensing board cannot issue settlements or order the doctor to pay for damages, but they can be helpful in other ways. One, they can determine whether the fault lies with the accused medical professional, which adds considerable weight to your lawsuit.
Two, they can reprimand the medical professional, which would encourage said professional to seek an out-of-court settlement to wrap the matter up swiftly. The board might also be able to guide you about the next steps you can take if you should pursue the case. For instance, the board could inform you about the statute of limitations in your state and help make sure you file the case in time.
File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: Final Thoughts
It is absolutely horrible if you or your loved ones are the victims of medical malpractice, but you do not need to feel helpless. There are concrete steps you can take to counterattack the damages. If the malpractice resulted in a serious ailment, you might not be able to return to perfect health.
But obtaining a good settlement amount can at least protect you from a lifetime of high medical expenses and make managing care and treatment easier. By speaking to the professionals involved, consulting a law firm, and speaking to the medical board, you can determine the best course of action to right this wrong.