Medical malpractice cases are usually filed by patients who have been injured or harmed due to misdiagnosis or poor medical treatment from a healthcare provider like a nurse or doctor. Typically, the measure of negligence depends on whether the patient would have gotten the same standard of care from another doctor in similar circumstances.
While most doctors aim to give the best standard of care to their patients, sometimes things just go wrong. If you have experienced poor medical treatment, breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, or lack of consent that resulted in injury, you should file a medical malpractice claim. The following are the first steps when filing a medical malpractice case:
Contact the healthcare professional involved
You should start by getting in touch with the doctor who you work with before looking for Maryland medical malpractice attorneys. The goal of getting in touch with your doctor is to understand what could have gone wrong and allow him to find out whether the error can be remedied. In some instances, a medical professional may be willing to perform services to rectify the problem.
Contact a medical licensing board
If the doctor does not give you any solution, you may contact the licensing board that gives out medical licenses. Although a licensing board cannot order the doctor to compensate you, they can discipline the doctor or issue warnings. Moreover, they can give you some guidance about your next steps.
Know the statute of limitations
When deciding whether you should file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to know how much time you have to file it. All civil claims such as medical malpractice suits have time limits. A statute of limitation means that you have to file your case within a given time period from when the error happened.
If you fail to file your claim within this time, you waive your rights to get compensation for your injuries. Check the statute of limitations in your state to ensure that the time for filing the claim has not run out.
Get a medical assessment
Getting a medical assessment will help in proving that your case has merit. More and more states require patients to have a certificate of merit to establish that the injuries were caused by the negligence of a medical practitioner. To get a certificate of merit, you must get in touch with a physician who can evaluate your medical records and certify that the medical practitioner deviated from the normal medical practices, causing your injuries.
Your lawyer will then file for a certificate of merit to confirm that you spoke to a healthcare professional and that your action has merit.
Consider a settlement
An out-of-court settlement will save you time and money because trials are expensive and time consuming. Moreover, because insurance companies turn down most malpractice claims, it would be in your best interest to settle out of court. If you believe that you have a large case, seek a big settlement.
Contact a medical malpractice lawyer
Finding an experienced attorney can mean the difference between walking away empty handed and receiving compensation for your injuries. A good medical malpractice attorney will be able to tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advice on the best course of action to take. To find the best medical malpractice lawyer, you need to get a free claim evaluation.
The initial investigation
The first thing that your lawyer will do is conduct a comprehensive detailed investigation. He will contact the hospital or doctor whose care is related to the alleged malpractice case. When necessary, broad research in the medical literature about your case should be done. When conducting this medical research, two questions need to be answered:
- Was the medical practitioner negligent when providing medical care for you?
- Did the injury result directly from this negligent care?
If the review does not reveal sufficient evidence, your lawyer will hire an expert to look into the case then choose the best course of action.