After a person has suffered from the devastation of a medical error that has caused severe harm, it often is chaotic. The first priority must be getting the necessary treatment to address the harm. If the malpractice led to the death of a loved one, managing the terrible aftermath consumes the time and energy of the deceased’s family members. As difficult as this period may be, it is important to take the initial steps necessary to preserve legal rights in order to pursue the compensation needed to pay bills and ensure proper care of the victim and his or her loved ones.
Contact the Original Medical Provider
When people suspect that there has been a serious mistake made by a doctor, nurse, therapist, pharmacist, or medical facility, among others, they often hesitate to contact the medical professional whom they suspect made a mistake. However, it is important to reach out for information from the person who has the most direct knowledge. In many cases, the doctor or other medical professional will provide a lot of important details while trying to convince someone not to pursue a malpractice case. It also provides an opportunity to receive medical care that may ameliorate some of the harm that was done.
Establish a Relationship with a New Doctor
Although it is important to go speak with the doctor or other medical provider who may have committed the malpractice, it also is important to get the right treatment from another doctor who is not connected in any way from the individual who committed the malpractice. One of the critical components of a medical malpractice case is the medical history of the victim from the time of the injury. Building that record with a primary medical provider goes a long way to obtaining the compensation that a person needs to recover, or at least move forward, from the malpractice.
Learn about the Statute of Limitations
One of the most important things that a person can do it to establish how long he or she has to commence a legal action, which varies depending on the state in which the case will be filed. The time restriction, known as the statute of limitations, sets a strict period in which a lawsuit may be commenced. Once that period has passed, it will not be possible to sustain a lawsuit. One thing that many people do not consider is how much work goes into the preparation of the lawsuit. It is not possible to retain an attorney and file a case the next day, especially because many states require that the lawsuit is filed with a certification of a medical expert that there is merit to the malpractice claim. This is why it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Find the Right Expert Witness
Even if the state in which the malpractice occurred does not require an expert certification at the beginning of the case, it will be necessary to have an expert, typically a physician, who can testify about the acts or omissions of the negligent party and how the level of care did not satisfy the standard of what a reasonable medical provider with the same education and skills would have done under similar circumstances. A medical malpractice attorney understands the critical role that this witness plays in the case, so he or she is very careful in selecting the right person to describe what went wrong and the impact that it had on the victim.
Retain an Attorney Who Will Work Hard to Get the Right Results
A skilled medical malpractice attorney can make all the difference for the outcome of a case because he understands how to build a strong case and where to find the evidence necessary to prove the elements of the negligence. Although there is no way to determine the outcome of every case, an experienced attorney can provide insight into the likely outcomes and discuss various options. It is possible to pursue a legal action while negotiating a settlement, but it often is necessary to file the claim in order to keep the right to go to court available in the event that negotiations fail.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates for Medical Malpractice Victims
The injuries that result from medical malpractice often are severe and dealing with the consequences of this harm can consume the time and resources of the victim and his or her family. It is imperative to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible in order to learn about the various options, even though it may seem like other priorities should take precedence. At Stern Law, PLLC, we have the experience and skill to advocate for those who have suffered harm because of a medical professional’s negligence. For more than 30 years, we have worked tirelessly to get the right results for our clients. In addition to skilled representation of our clients, we also strive to act as a resource to those who have been impacted by medical malpractice. We have staff available to answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who has a question or concern. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.