When you go about trying to get medical care, you reasonably expect to get treatment that will help you feel better. Unfortunately, that is not always how things turn out. In some cases, people end up feeling worse after receiving treatment or do not get treatment at all. In worst-case-scenarios, an individual can become permanently disabled or even die. These are all instances of personal injury via medical malpractice.
If you or someone you love have experienced medical malpractice, getting a personal injury lawyer on your side can help you win the benefits you are owed. Getting benefits can be a daunting task, and here is what you need to know about the legal process.
1. What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice takes different forms. There are multiple categories of injuries experienced during medical treatment that likely were preventable and were undoubtedly intolerable.
Examples of medical malpractice claims include infections sustained in hospital, birth injuries, medication errors, surgical errors, emergency room errors, and misdiagnoses or a failure to diagnose your ailment. These situations can lead to physical and emotional injuries, disabilities, medical complications, or the patient passing away.
Depending on which state you live in, you could have a couple of years from the date of the injury to file a medical malpractice claim.
2. Gather Your Evidence
Gathering your evidence is crucial for building a solid medical malpractice case with your attorney. You will need to prove that your injury resulted from some sort of medical malpractice and that your case centers upon negligence. Expert testimonies from other medical professionals and medical records can be of great assistance in this regard.
3. Evidence You’ll Need
Medical records are of the utmost importance when working with a personal injury lawyer on a medical malpractice case. You will need to gather all pertinent medical information that shows there was a failure to diagnose your condition, that the doctor(s) used experimental medical treatments, that treatment and risks were not properly explained to you, or that you were left unattended during a medical emergency.
4. Find Expert Consultants
In some cases, another healthcare professional can provide expert consultation on your case. They can identify standards of care and correct treatments you should’ve received, thereby highlighting your attending healthcare provider’s recklessness or negligence.
Independent medical examinations (IMEs) can be conducted, in which the consulting physician gathers data about your injury and provides you with sufficient treatment needed for recovery. They can best attest to your pain and suffering, especially if the defendant in your case is contesting the evidence you provide.
5. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Medical malpractice cases are not easy ones to win, and they can be expensive. Once a case like this comes before a jury, the jury might not recognize the misconduct of the doctor and end up siding with them. Physicians sometimes come across as sympathetic as defendants, and some jury members might not feel that any doctor would ever harm a patient, willingly or unwillingly.
What’s more, determining liability isn’t usually clear-cut. Your physician might only be partially responsible for your injuries, or it could be a more system-wide hospital liability. Determining who is liable is a core component of your case.
Regardless of the type of medical malpractice claim you make, the process is the same and involves a lot of paperwork that must first go before the medical board that oversees the health practitioner(s) involved in your case. If they approve your claim, you will need your legal team to help you file your claim with the court.