Suffering physically or mentally due to negligence on the part of a medical practitioner can be inconvenient and frustrating. The results of the injury could cost you thousands of dollars and lead to you being unable to work. Understandably, you may want to sue the person or institution responsible for some form of compensation.
However, filing a medical malpractice claim can be a gruelling and confusing process for someone without knowledge of local legal systems. This is why it is always advisable to hire the services of a medical malpractice attorney with a knowledge of state law. People make many common mistakes when filing a medical malpractice claim, and a reputable lawyer can help you avoid these. Here are some of the common pitfalls you should be aware of:
1. Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders
A common mistake that many medical malpractice plaintiffs make is failing to follow their doctor’s orders. Even if a hospital or a doctor has made a mistake somewhere down the line, it is important to show you haven’t made the situation worse by not complying or following up with the doctor as requested. Gaps in treatment are something that an insurance company regularly uses against the plaintiff.
2. Not Taking The Case Seriously
Medical negligence cases are often difficult to pursue because the hospital’s insurers are trained to fight to protect the institution’s reputation. Most plaintiffs, especially those fighting a legal battle on their own steam, are intimidated by this adversarial approach. Novices often make the mistake of being too easygoing, trusting the other party to act honourably and not fighting back hard enough.
3. Oversharing Information
Many plaintiffs make the mistake of disclosing their intention to pursue a medical malpractice case to their medical professionals, which isn’t wise. This should only be done after consulting a lawyer. The other example of oversharing information is through social media. Any statements about the case that are made on public forums could be damaging to the claim, so it is best to exercise caution even when discussing matters with family and friends.
4. Failing To File A Case Promptly
Naturally, people who have suffered as a result of medical malpractice may be more focused on dealing with their ailments or hoping that the issue will resolve itself. However, when it comes to legal matters, time is of the essence. Documenting your issues and keeping a record of all doctor’s visits is imperative. It is wise to get a second opinion from an independent medical specialist right away.
5. Settling Too Early
In some instances, plaintiffs agree to settle too early in order to avoid court fees. In many cases, the plaintiff may not even have undergone a proper assessment to gauge the full nature of the damage and end up settling for much less than they deserve. While settling out of court is not necessarily a bad idea, you should always let the lawyer make that judgement regarding your specific situation.
Fighting a medical malpractice case will never be easy but being aware of some of the most common mistakes people make and having a good medical malpractice lawyer by your side can make all the difference when it comes to receiving the compensation you deserve. Be sure to follow these tips to avoid losing out.