It is devastating when the trust that was placed in the hands of a doctor or other healthcare provider is betrayed by a breach of an obligation to provide reasonable care. In many instances, there was no intent on the part of the medical professional to cause harm, but that does not lessen the impact on the person who was injured, as well as his or her family. After medical treatment has resulted in severe harm, a person’s life generally is thrust into chaos, where each day is a new challenge to determine how to get necessary medical care, pay bills, and manage the pain. Although this is a very stressful time, there are steps that should be taken quickly.
Consult with an Attorney
Many people do not know how to proceed after being harmed as the result of a medical professional’s negligence. Although it is important to start compiling medical records as soon as possible, one of the first things to do really should be to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. In every state, there is a time limit on how long a person has to file a medical malpractice case. The period varies from state-to-state, and may be dependent on the nature of the injury as well, but the reality is that there is a lot to be done before a case can be filed and a limited time in which to do it. An experienced attorney will start the process while also guiding the individual through things that he or she can do to assist in the legal action and get the help that he needs to begin the recovery process.
There are times when a person can represent himself in a legal action, but this should never be attempted with a medical malpractice case. There are too many nuances to pursuing a successful case, including finding a medical expert who has the skills and experience to satisfy a court. In many states, the expert will have to prepare an offer of proof that is filed at the start of the legal action. There also other procedural hurdles that must be overcome. It is critical to have an attorney who has the knowledge and legal experience to get the best possible results.
Gather Medical Records
This is one of the critical steps in any medical malpractice case. A person has the right to obtain his or her records and any other documents relevant to the care or treatment, but there are times when this process is long and drawn-out by the healthcare providers and their attorneys. By executing a medical information release, a person who has been harmed by negligence can focus on recovery while his or her attorney gathers the documents that will play a pivotal role in proving that a medical professional was negligent in providing care or treatment. In some cases, a review of the records will reveal that there was no actionable malpractice, which is important to understand early in the process.
Provide Notice to Relevant Parties
Sometimes, it is quicker and easier to reach an out-of-court resolution after a doctor of other healthcare provider has made a preventable error that resulted in harm to a patient. By giving notice of the claim of negligence to the facility in which the medical professional works, as well as the insurance providers that issued the applicable policies, it may be possible to settle a matter without having to go to court. This enables a victim and his or her family to move forward with their lives rather than waiting for what could be years for a court decision. In some cases, notification of a hospital or care facility can lead to an internal review of policies and changes in how situations are managed, so that other people are not injured under similar circumstances. In some states, there are requirements for providing specific types of notice before a case may be filed.
Prepare and File the Complaint
A medical malpractice case is formally commenced with the preparation of filing of the complaint. This important document outlines the allegations of the case and sets forth the elements that will be proven during the presentation of the case. It is crucial that this is drafted by an attorney who understands how to construct a successful case.
Stern Law, PLLC Provides Experienced and Compassionate Representation
There are many obstacles in preparing and litigating a medical malpractice case and it is imperative that a person who was harmed by a healthcare provider who was negligent find the right attorney as soon as possible. At Stern Law, PLLC, our attorney has fought for the rights of malpractice victims for more than 30 years. We know the devastation that can result when a medical professional makes a serious and preventable mistake. In addition to the legal representation that we provide, we have dedicated staff available to answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who has a question or concern, regardless of whether or not you are our client. 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.