What Evidence Can Be Used in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
When we go to a doctor, we go thinking that all of our health issues will be resolved. However, as sad as it may be, medical malpractice is third in line when it comes to causes of death in America, immediately after heart diseases and cancer. Every year, more than 250,000 people die in the U.S. as a result of a medical error.
When this happens, the person concerned, or their family can file for medical malpractice. However, for the case to be won, not only do you need to file as soon as possible, but you also need to bring in the appropriate proof.
Here Is What Is Usually Listed As Evidence In A Medical Malpractice Claim
1. Medical Records
Your medical records are the key documents used to create a medical malpractice case. This can be anything from notes and prescriptions to evaluations and medical records. Obtaining access to your medical documents will likely be the first step.
Each state and city handle medical records differently, but for the most part, you need to contact the medical institution that you previously went to. In New Jersey, you will have more success filing to the hospital itself, not the doctor that potentially compromised your health. Hospitals must keep your records for five to 10 years at least. So, as long as you keep to your Statute of Limitations, you will not have any issues.
To request a copy of your medical records, you will have to submit a form. Most healthcare institutions in New Jersey do not need a special letter but will require a letter with your personal information, along with the evidence that you want to be released.
If the healthcare institution does not want to release your medical records or keeps finding excuses to delay the process, then you may want to employ the help of a New Jersey malpractice lawyer. They will be familiarized with the law and will know how to push them into a corner.
2. Medical Bills
Aside from your medical records, your medical bills will also be important when it comes to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, if you paid a significant amount of money for procedures that were not necessary in your case, then you may attach them to your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Pay stubs can also be used here, to show exactly how much income you have lost as a result of the medical error. For instance, you may have been subjected to multiple surgeries, whether it was to fix medical negligence or as a result of misdiagnosis. Time spent in the hospital may have caused you to lose a fair amount of income.
For instance, if you have been misdiagnosed and you spent a lot of money on x-rays, medical supplies, or therapists, then your bank statement and receipts should serve as proof. This way, you may receive compensation in the form of a settlement, for the money that you wasted.
Testimonies may also be used in court to support your case. For example, if your life has been significantly affected by a medical error, then this might help you make your case stronger in front of the judge.
The testimonies can come from your family and friends or the people you interact with at your workplace. If there are any aspects that you are struggling with and people have noted it, then their opinion may prove of value in court.
Depending on the state, you may also need to employ the help of an expert medical witness. These people are typically doctors that will take another look at your case, to check whether the care standards were properly followed or not. The expert testimony that they derive from their findings will hold a lot of value in court.
These testimonies must be gathered before you even file the medical malpractice claim. Medical situations are quite complex, and the doctors themselves may not always be at fault for the patient getting injured. This official testimony will help determine whether the case was one of medical malpractice or not.
The Bottom Line
For you to win a medical malpractice lawyer, you need to bring as much evidence as possible. You need to show the judge that not only did they botch the medical procedure, but they also affected your or a close one’s life. The earlier you file for malpractice, the faster you may be able to obtain justice.