How Medical Malpractice Cases Work: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a negligent medical professional, you may have grounds to take legal action in the form of a medical malpractice claim. Because of the number of legal hoops you may be asked to jump through during the process, it’s important that you understand what filing a medical malpractice claim entails. From hiring an attorney to filing and drafting the complaint against your doctor, in this blog we give you a step-by-step guide to how a medical malpractice case works.
Step 1: Hiring an Attorney
Although there are a number of legal aspects that you can handle on your own before needing to bring in a legal professional, it’s strongly suggested that you hire an attorney sooner rather than later. An attorney can help you file your case before the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is up and can also reach out to the medical professional whom you are bringing the claim against. Additionally, there may be pre-suit requirements that need to be met before filing your case. Having an expert on your side can be extremely beneficial to ensure nothing slips through the cracks, which can prove to be a costly mistake in the long run.
Step 2: Get Copies of Your Medical Records
Medical records and documentation is the backbone to any strong medical malpractice case, and its contents have the potential to make or break your case. Because of privacy laws, it’s likely that you’ll have to sign a waiver that allows your lawyer, along with the defendant’s lawyers to get copies of your medical records. Medical records give attorneys a deeper understanding of your case, and also gives them the opportunity to look for medical experts who can weigh in and offer crucial testimonies that may help your case.
Step 3: Notify Insurance Companies
Any notice of a potential lawsuit should be brought forth to your insurance company and hospital. In some cases, the notice will cause your insurance coverage to begin an internal review of your case, which may result in an acceptable settlement before even filing the suit. It’s very important, however, that you discuss any early settlements with your attorney. Oftentimes insurance companies will prioritize profit and offer you a settlement that is far less than what you deserve and are entitled to.
Step 4: Comply with Pre-Suit Requirements
Pre-suit requirements are intended to speed up the legal process and take care of any unnecessary obstacles and stressors. These requirements also open the door for discussions pertaining to the possibility of early settlements to avoid having to bring the case to lengthy court proceedings.
Step 5: Officially Filing a Medical Malpractice Complaint
The final step in filing your case is drafting the complaint, which is a formal document that cites the allegations you are bringing against your doctor. Filing the complaint is what triggers the lawsuit to begin shortly after.
We entrust doctors and physicians to take care of our health, but when that trust is betrayed, it can result in painful and ultimately life-changing injuries. At Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, our dedicated Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys have successfully fought for justice on behalf of injured clients.
Learn how our firm can help by calling (410) 983-6266 today!