According to research by John Hopkins Medicine, over 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, making this the third leading cause of death in the US following heart disease and cancer.
When a patient is injured as a result of a healthcare professional’s negligent actions, or failure to act, according to the standards reasonably expected of them, they may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice. Examples of this can include incorrect medication or dosages, failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, premature discharge, surgical errors, and poor follow-up care.
If you have been injured following treatment you received by a medical professional this article will guide you through the steps to take to bring a medical malpractice claim.
Check The Statute Of Limitations
There are certain time limits prescribed by law known as the statute of limitations which will alert you to how soon to file a claim after you are injured. In medical malpractice cases, the time period in which a claim must be brought is usually between two to six years from when the injury occurred.
By checking the statute of limitations in your state you will know the length of time you have to file a claim. If you act too late, you may miss the deadline and your right to be compensated for any medical malpractice will be forfeited.
Seek Legal Advice
You will greatly benefit from the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can review the merits of your case and advise you from a legal perspective.
It is advisable to consult with a reputable law firm that can offer you a free consultation where they will explain your rights, options and the likely outcome of pursuing a claim. Legal Experts will also represent you without charge unless they help you to win your case and recover a financial payout.
Inform Your Insurer And Healthcare Provider
By informing your healthcare provider of your intentions to file a claim against them, you are giving them notice and the opportunity to resolve the situation without legal recourse, if possible.
In certain situations, this can result in both parties settling the matter without the need to file a claim or for litigation. A medical malpractice lawsuit can be costly and time-consuming, it is often advisable, therefore, to reach an agreeable settlement out of court.
Legal representation is recommended at this stage as a lawyer will be able to act as an intermediary between you and your healthcare provider’s insurer, ensuring all negotiations are in your best interests.
Medical Records And Expert Witnesses
Medical records and supporting documentation are often the bedrock of a successful medical malpractice claim. They will also help your lawyer understand your case and establish the essential element of negligence by the healthcare professional.
Based on the information in your medical records, your lawyer can enlist the support of medical experts who can offer their opinion regarding the cause of your injuries. Testimony from experts in the medical field is key to the success of most medical malpractice claims as medical training is usually required to understand the nature of the injuries and whether fault should be attributed to the healthcare professional.
If you are considering bringing a medical malpractice claim, these steps can guide you through the process.