Medical malpractice is a condensed term that encapsulates wrong or delayed diagnosis or not receiving the standard treatment and care from the medical professionals. The common thread connecting all the medical malpractice cases is the patient suffered injury or harm due to incompetence or negligence of the physician, nurse and other healthcare professionals.
The reality checking in medical malpractice cases typically involves comparison to find out if the complaint bringing the allegation against a medical professional on the ground of negligence or incompetence in providing the standard care would have received better treatment and care from another healthcare provider under the similar conditions.
Though nearly all medical service providers stay true to their promise on delivering the highest standard of care for the patients, sometimes things go seriously wrong. If you or any of your near and dear ones has experienced any such incident that is clear deviation from the ‘standard of care’, including misdiagnosis, poor medical care, or corroded confidentiality in doctor-patient relationship that caused harm or injury, you have a valid medical malpractice case.
In the next segment of the write-up, we will dissect some fundamental steps to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Contact the Medical Service Provider
The first step even before you bring a medical malpractice case against the professional is to reach out to him or her, seek explanation for why it has gone wrong and find out if the problem can be rectified. In most cases, the doctors or other medical professionals liable for the wrong agree to perform sometimes even free of charge for correction or solution.
Contact the Medical Licensing Board
Though most of the times, contacting a professional effectively sorts out the issue but sometimes, the doctor is not willing to provide additional service even for a charge. Though the power to order is not vested in the board, they can definitely warn the practitioner and even may provide you with the necessary guidelines for the next steps.
Statutes of Limitations
If you have already decided that filing a case is the only way to get justice for medical malpractice experienced by you or any of your loved ones, you should know the timeframe within which, you have to lodge the medical malpractice claim. In law jargon, this time limit is called “Statutes of Limitations”. Keep in mind the time counts from when you suffered harm or injury. If the limitation is overlooked, you will end up with risking your rights to compensation waived.
The ‘Statues of Limitations’ are not same across the states. Therefore, check the time limit of the state where you experienced medical malpractice to ensure that the deadline is not missed.
Talk to a Medical Expert to Confirm If You Have a Valid Case
A larger number of states requires the plaintiff to submit a “certificate of merit” before the case starts, to confirm if the injury or harm he or she suffered actually resulted from a medical service provider’s incompetence or negligence as alleged by the patient.
For that purpose, you need to have a medical expert step in the process. The person will assess your medical records and determine whether the healthcare provider deviated from the quality of medical practices accepted as the ‘Standard’ and that actually harmed you. The lawyer representing you will file the ‘Certificate of Merit’, which is a confirmation in itself that you had talks with a medical expert and the person certified that your case has merit.
If it comes to actual legal action, always talk to serious lawyers for serious injuries. Hiring anyone will only drag the period of your suffering and set you back by a huge sum. A competent lawyer always makes efforts to reach an out-of-the-court settlement to bring you justice as soon as possible.