When we’re going to a hospital, we all hope that our experience there is superior and that we come out as healthy and healing as possible. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the doctor will make a mistake – and you’ll be the one to pay for it.
That mistake can cause you further health problems, missed days at the job, costly medical procedures, and other financial problems. Aside from your finances, your health would also be put in danger. In fact, one of the top three causes of death in the United States is medical malpractice – in which case, you’ll need to fight back.
If a doctor makes a mistake or gives you or a loved one poor medical treatment that causes harm, then you might want to file a medical malpractice claim. By winning it, you will at least get the financial compensation to make up for the way you were wronged.
Here are the steps for you to file a lawsuit against a doctor
1. Get a Lawyer
Obviously, the first thing that you need to do when dealing with a medical malpractice claim is to suit up as soon as possible. Representing yourself is never really a good idea, so you might want to find an attorney that has experience in this sort of case.
Hire an attorney that you know for a fact has enough experience in handling these types of claims. If you can’t find a referral from your friends and family, you might want to look up some online referrals instead.
2. Know When to File
If you want to file a medical malpractice claim, it’s very important to file within the right claim. All types, as well as all states and cities, have a legal limit that you have to respect.
For instance, Charleston follows the South Carolina Law, so if you get a Charleston medical malpractice attorney, you need to file within the first three years after the procedure. If you file after that, your medical malpractice claim may not go through.
3. Gather Your Medical Records
Your medical records will be the best way for you to prove that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice. You can also include medical assessments from different healthcare providers that confirm your claim.
Bear in mind that because of the privacy laws, you must sign a release of your medical records. This will allow your attorney to take a copy of your medical records out and use them to build a case against the doctor or the medical facility.
4. Notify the Healthcare Provider
While many people see it as the “polite thing to do” before you file a lawsuit, you may need to contact the healthcare provider and notify them of your intention. You may do this informally, or you may choose the formal manner, via a notification from your legal representative.
Some states require you to send a notice so that the accused can send a formal response. This will also be a necessary step for you, as you’ll be able to start the insurance coverage.
5. Keep Out-Of-Court Settlement in Mind
A medical malpractice claim can be very costly and also take a lot of time. This is why you shouldn’t say no to the idea of settling matters out of court. Many insurance companies often reject a large portion of the claims, giving you much less in return than you originally were entitled to.
Sometimes, it might be in your best interest to just settle. However, if you believe your case is strong, then you should not settle for the smaller win – go for the best settlement instead.
6. Meet All Pre-Suit Requirements
Before you file for a medical malpractice claim, you might want to go through all the pre-suit requirements. This will involve expert support, often in the form of an Affidavit of Merit, along with other similar documents. This step is essential, as it can encourage settlement, streamline the litigation and help take out frivolous cases.
If you fail to meet these requirements, your case may be dismissed, even if you may be in the right. Usually, you will get a second chance to remedy the situation and come into compliance, but to prevent any delays, you might want to get this right from the start. A good medical malpractice attorney should be able to guide you.
At this point, you are ready to take your case to civil court. Once you file your complaint, it will kickstart the lawsuit, and you should be able to get your justice.