Malpractices and negligence by doctors and physicians can have adverse and potentially debilitating side effects on patients’ health and wellbeing. After all, a medical facility should be a place of wellness and healing, not carelessness.
Everyone present there should be your allies in building and promoting healthy life habits. Unfortunately, such is not the case all the time. Suppose you received medical care that resulted in damages or injuries from your doctor’s, surgeon’s, or any other healthcare professional’s malpractice or negligence. In that case, you will be entitled to filing a medical lawsuit against them.
However, before you do that, you must first understand what a medical lawsuit relates to. A medical lawsuit usually results from a hospital employee’s action. These include technicians, nurses, doctors, and anyone affiliated with the hospital.
That said, sometimes doctors also work as independent contractors. In such a case, you can file a medical lawsuit against the doctor himself. That said, there are specific steps you need to follow to ensure the individuals or individuals responsible for your medical injuries see their day in court.
So, without further ado, some of these steps are listed down below.
Discuss your medical malpractice lawsuit with an attorney
A medical lawsuit isn’t something you would want to take on by yourself. After all, these cases are usually time-consuming and very complex from a procedural, medical, and legal point of view. Proving your claims will require a firm understanding of medical law and a lot of patience.
That said, hiring a competent lawyer or law firm such as Sokolove Law will be in your best interest. Generally, medical malpractice lawyers provide free consultations and charge you on a contingency basis. It means your lawyer will only get paid when you receive compensation.
For example, if you win your medical malpractice case, the lawyer or law firm will take a previously decided percentage(usually one-third) of the compensation you receive.
Don’t forget about the statute of limitations
The biggest mistake you can make is taking too much time to file a medical lawsuit in court. According to the statute of limitations, affected individuals must file their medical lawsuits immediately to obtain the maximum possible compensation.
That said, the statute of limitations varies from state to state. But, they can range from one year to four years from the date of your medical injury.
As discussed before, a medical lawsuit will take a lot of time to conclude. So, filling your case as soon as possible means you’ll get through it quicker. For example, in Illinois, the statute of limitations states that individuals file their medical lawsuits under two years of discovering their medical injuries.
Obtain the certificate of merit
A certificate of merit will certify that your medical injury was a direct result of your doctor’s or healthcare facility’s negligence. However, such a requirement varies from state to state. For instance, in Illinois, you must provide the certificate of merit before you even think about filing a medical lawsuit.
To acquire one, you must first contact a medical expert to go through your medical records. Then, the expert will confirm whether your healthcare providers deviated from their duty of care, resulting in a medical injury due to their negligence.
Once they verify it, you can then ask your medical malpractice attorney to file your certificate of merit to confirm with the court that a medical expert has reviewed and verified your injury claims.
Contact the healthcare professional who caused your medical injury
Getting in touch with the doctor involved in your injury will allow you to avoid court time, which will be a more straightforward and headache-free approach for both parties. Moreover, your doctor might call you in for corrective surgery and won’t charge you a penny, so you don’t sue them.
This step will also allow you to understand what went wrong during the caregiving process. in the end, if your doctor agrees to remedy your injuries, don’t file a lawsuit against them. It will be a win-win situation for both parties.
Contact your relevant medical licensing board
If contacting the healthcare professional involved with your injury doesn’t bear fruit, the next step should be to get in touch with your state’s relevant medical licensing board. While the licensing board might not ask the healthcare professional to compensate you for your injuries, they can take disciplinary action against them. Moreover, they will also be able to guide you on what to do next.
Draft and file your complaint
The complaint you want to file must contain your name, the names of the individuals who caused your injury, details of how the injury occurred, the type of injury you experienced, and the amount of compensation you expect.
Furthermore, you need to file this complaint at your state’s clerk’s office. Moreover, you also need to comply and fulfill any procedural requirements that come with filing a complaint.
If you have considered the steps mentioned above, you will be on your way to filing a medical lawsuit. However, if you decide to take your malpractice or negligence claim to court, be prepared for a long and confusing legal battle.
Not to mention, you’ll have to pay your attorney a lot of money to represent you. Plus, tons of court fees. That said, a better option would be to go for an out-of-court settlement. So, if the other party’s attorney doesn’t low-ball you and gives you a fair settlement offer, go for it!