Medical procedures can be minor or as major as brain or heart surgery. Thousands of these surgeries take place every day. Unfortunately, some of these procedures lead to medical malpractice. That’s a real concern for anyone who is facing surgery, no matter how minor. You might be surprised to learn that medical malpractice happens more often than you may think. In fact, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death, right behind cancer and heart disease. That’s a pretty scary statistic, especially if you’re getting ready to have a medical procedure. In the unfortunate event that you become a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to know of the steps you should take when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Consult With An Experienced Attorney
As soon as you think you might be a victim of medical malpractice, you need to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can give you expert legal advice and guide you through the process of filing your medical malpractice lawsuit. Using an attorney will increase your chances of having a successful outcome. You shouldn’t take on the case alone. Medical malpractice cases can be confusing for the average person. Therefore, the importance of obtaining an attorney cannot be overstated.
Obtain Your Medical Records
You’re going to need evidence for your medical malpractice lawsuit. The best evidence is going to be your medical records. You will need to sign a release so that your attorney and the defense attorney can review your medical records. It is to your advantage to obtain a copy of your medical records as soon as you think you have a case. You can then deliver your records to your attorney so they can begin reviewing the information. It is possible that your attorney might advise you not to file a lawsuit. If your attorney feels you do have a case, they may want to solicit expert opinions from doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. The sooner professionals can review your records, the sooner you will know if you have a viable case that has a good chance of being successful.
Notify Insurance Companies and/or Facilities
You will need to give the insurance companies and/or facilities involved notice of your intent to file a medical malpractice suit. This is one of the areas where your attorney is invaluable. They will act as the middle person between you and the insurance company to negotiate on your behalf. It is possible that the insurance company or hospital could offer you a settlement to avoid a lawsuit.
Ensure You Are In Compliance With Pre-Suit Requirements
You should be aware of your state’s pre-suit requirements. Pre-suit notice requirements are intended to:
- Reduce frivolous lawsuits
- Streamline litigation
- Encourage settlement
The ultimate purpose of pre-suit requirements is to reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits. If you fail to comply with such requirements, it can prove detrimental to your case. Failing to comply and give the defendant proper notice can lead to the dismissal of your case.
File Your Complaint
Once you and your attorney have determined that your case should go forward, it is time to file your medical malpractice complaint. The complaint is a formal outline of your allegations against the defendant. Once the complaint has been filed, the lawsuit begins. The more involved in the lawsuit that you become, the more you will appreciate the advice of your attorney and to have them act on your behalf.
Seeking the advice and services of an attorney will lead to the best outcome possible. The legal aspects of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be murky. Your chances of winning your case are greatly increased when you have an experienced attorney on your side.
Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law. Laurence is licensed to practice law in the state of New York. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.