Medical malpractice is when a health care professional, hospital, doctor, or nurse causes injury to a patient due to a negligent act or omission. Negligence can take many forms and might be the result of misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, or general errors in health management or aftercare. John Hopkins conducted a study that found over 250,000 people die each year due to medical errors. Medical malpractice sits behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death.
Here are 6 of the important details you need to keep in mind when dealing with a medical malpractice case.
1. Learn the Legal Definitions
Going into this process there is going to be a lot of legal jargon and if you can get to grips with the basics early on this will make your life a lot easier. It is important to understand the legal definitions as this will help give you a clearer case. Medical malpractice cases come in all shapes and sizes, some examples include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Unnecessary surgery
- Errors during surgery
- Incorrect medicine dosage / treatment
- Lack of /poor aftercare
- Premature discharge
- Disregarding patient history
- Failure to recognize symptoms
There will be legal terms that are specific to each of these malpractices. If you are a claimant seeking compensation then it is worth researching the legal definitions and requirements that come with your case.
2. There Are Time Limits
It is important to keep in mind that there are time restraints when it comes to filing a medical malpractice case. Most states will give you between two to three years to make a claim. It will also depend on the state of the case which is brought forward and the level of injury. If it has gone beyond 3 years since your injury then it is a lot harder to file a case, however, in rare cases, some exceptions have been made. While it is important to take the time to recover from your injury, it is also important to try and pay attention to the statute of limitations window. The sooner you file the better your chances are of gaining the compensation you deserve.
3. Seek the Right Legal Assistance
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice you must seek the right legal assistance to help you. You want to find specialist help and talking to professionals, such as those at Bertram Law Group can help you find the right attorney to put your case together. Ideally, you want to find an attorney who is experienced in the field of medical negligence. Seeking legal advice early on is important as the attorneys will be able to tell you fairly quickly whether or not you have a case that is worth pursuing.
Before committing to a law firm, ensure that you have done extensive research on the company. Check out their win to loss ratios and the qualifications that their attorneys possess. While it can be time-consuming to research firm after firm, finding the best possible law firm for you will give you the best fighting chance at winning your case.
4. Gather as Much Evidence as Possible
Another important factor to keep in mind is the importance of gathering evidence. Without any physical evidence, it is unlikely that your case will go anywhere. This is why you must keep records of everything associated with your case, even if you think it is not important or relevant. This cannot be reiterated enough, no matter how big or small the detail you must record it.
The kinds of evidence you will need to gather include doctor’s notes, correspondence, medical opinions, and records. Your legal team will have you collate this evidence as they will get in touch with your medical practitioner and request any medical records and notes that are relevant to the case. This is another reason why it is so important to find the right legal help as you want someone experienced and proficient in this process.
5. Medical Malpractice Cases’ Can Take Time
Lastly, it is important to be aware of how long the time frame of medical malpractices can be. In the United States, there is a considerable backlog of cases in general, and so it can take anywhere from six months to over a year before a medical malpractice claim is settled. The time it takes will depend on the complexity and strength of the case. Typically, most cases end up getting settled outside of court but both parties will have to go through the motions of the court process. If your priority is getting the case settled quickly then you are likely to receive less money. Alternatively, cases that do win at trial do not tend to get money straight away, and it can take several years before the money is paid.
6. What the Odds Are of Winning Your Medical Malpractice Case
You must go into this process with realistic expectations and an in-depth understanding of what are the possible outcomes. Research has consistently shown that typically it is the physicians and hospitals that win medical malpractice cases. This is because state laws make it difficult for patients to win claims against health care institutions as if too many settlements went against health care providers this could result in a lack of medical care for the community.
However, do not let this information prevent you from filing a lawsuit. Instead, use this information to help fuel your case. Hiring reputable attorneys will help you put together a strong case and this will increase your chances of achieving a settlement for the damages you endured as a result of medical malpractice. It might not be easy, but it is worth the fight to ensure justice is served.
Compensation cannot undo what has happened to you or your loved ones, however, it can help you begin your journey of recovery from what occurred. The money can be put towards your recovery and hopefully, winning your medical malpractice case will bring you the closure you need and deserve.
Posted 1 month ago by Allen Brown