Thinking about filing medical malpractice claim? Suing for medical negligence is no walk in the park as you will be required to jump through tons of procedural hoops depending on your jurisdiction. Legal requirements, hiring the right experts and making pre-suit filings are just some of the requirements that make this process very complicated. Here are some of the steps you will need to tale when filing the suit.
- Get Yourself an Attorney
While there are some cases that can be taken to court without necessarily the need for a lawyer, a malpractice claim is not one of them. If you think you have a valid medical malpractice case, you need to find a malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Malpractice lawyers help with the filing of the case in good time. Some states have statutes of limitations in some cases. A lawyer ensures you file your case in good time. A lawyer will also help you to meet any requirements needed for the case to be filed. Whether or not your case is heard depends largely on the attorney you hire.
- Get Copies of Your Medical Records
Your medical records are your best evidence for the case. Because of doctor-client confidentiality laws, you are required to sign a release form to allow your attorney to gain access to the files. You need to get the copies to your lawyers earliest possible. This makes it possible for them to go through the records and come up with a case in good time.
- Notify Your Insurance Provider or Facility
It is important to let the hospital or insurance company know of the possibility of there being a case. In some cases, this notice may make things much easier since the medical facility or insurance company may opt to compensate you out of court. Even so, it is important to have a malpractice attorney by your side just in case the hospital or insurance takes advantage of the situation. A lawyer will advise on the best course of action.
- Comply with All Pre-Suit Requirements
Most states have formal requirements that must be met before a malpractice case is filed. These requirements are there to streamline litigations, encourage out of court settlements, and also help to keep frivolous cases at bay. For this reason, you will need to come with a sworn statement or affidavit that shows which medical practice was violated and also the effects of the malpractice. If you do not comply with the pre-suit requirements, your case may not make it to trial.
- Filing the Malpractice Complaint
Once you have followed all due procedures, the final step is filing the complaint. This is an official recitation of the malpractice allegations you’re filing against your doctor or hospital. Once the malpractice complaint is filed, your lawsuit starts to take effect. Again, a qualified attorney is best placed to help you with this step. The best attorney will ensure that you follow all due process to see your case proceed to trial.