Medical workers play a crucial role in society. They fight on the frontlines against diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic and are responsible for saving thousands of lives. They are only human, and sometimes their negligence can cause significant harm to patients. In these cases, a patient’s right is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional and receive compensation. If you are looking to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, here are the steps you must follow.
1. Consult an Attorney
You must consult the best personal injury lawyer to help with your medical malpractice lawsuit. They will have full knowledge of the details regarding medical malpractice, such as information on your state’s statute of limitation. A lawyer will also have experience handling multiple cases like yours and would know the best course of action to follow, which will get you the highest compensation.
Hire your lawyer based on their success rate, experience, and fee. Most personal injury lawyers will ask for a contingency of one-third of the case’s proceeding, which you will only pay if they win your case. However, some lawyers can ask for payment before taking the case. If you can not afford to pay such a retainer, research thoroughly for an adequate lawyer.
2. Collect Medical Records
You must gather all necessary medical records to ensure a strong case. Make written requests to clinics, hospitals, and diagnostic centers to get all the medical information and reports regarding your case. And also, collect your past tests and consultation receipts.
Your lawyer will analyze the data and consult with other medical professionals to build a strong case for you. Your lawyer can also ask you to contact your past physicians to strengthen the lawsuit further.
3. Meet Pre-Suit Requirements
Before you file the lawsuit, you must fulfill your state’s prerequisites. Some states require you to inform the medical worker beforehand so their insurance companies have time to prepare. You must also have an affidavit of merit that has details of your case and the medical malpractice that caused you harm. A medical expert must endorse the testimony and ensure that your claim is viable. If you fail to meet pre-suit requirements, the court will dismiss your case, and you will not receive compensation.
4. Draft and File the Lawsuit
After complying with the prerequisites, you and your lawyer can finally draft and file your lawsuit. The lawsuit will be a formal complaint and list your allegations against a medical professional or an institution.
5. Reach a Settlement or Go to Court
A court case is just one way to receive compensation. You and the other party can also decide on a settlement contract. They can provide you compensation, and you can retract the lawsuit. This option requires less work from both sides and helps the defendant keep their reputation. If your case is weak, there is no knowing if the court’s decision will go in your favor, so settling can be beneficial. If your lawyers think you can win in court if you don’t settle out of court, you should proceed to trial.
Patients put their lives in the hand of medical professionals, and they trust them to help them recover. Medical workers do whatever they can to aid patients, but sometimes, due to negligence, they make mistakes that harm patients instead. Patients can file a medical malpractice suit in such a case. With the help of a lawyer, they can receive compensation for the harm they received.