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A Beginner’s Guide to Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

 Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex cases that can take years to resolve. Here’s what you need to know about filing one of these cases. Using a heart attack malpractice lawyer for these specific cases will give you the best expert in the field.

Contact a Lawyer

Depending on where you live, you might have a statute of limitations for filing your case. Most states give you two years or so to file a claim.

Your first step should be to contact a specialized lawyer. Medical malpractice lawyers can help with this complex process, from determining if you have a valid claim to working with expert witnesses in the medical field.

If possible, look for an attorney with an extensive track record of obtaining compensation in medical malpractice cases.

Document Your Case

Now that you have a legal representative, you can start documenting your case. First, you should gather all the medical records documenting the initial diagnosis and the care you received.

If the medical malpractice resulted in complications, you’d also need medical records that show how your illness or injury worsened.

Keep track of your medical bills to show the financial impact of medical malpractice. You should also document other consequences, such as missing work or travel expenses.

Obtain a Certificate of Merit

A certificate or affidavit of merit is a healthcare provider statement confirming you have a valid medical malpractice case. Not all states require this document, but your lawyer will put you in touch with an expert who can review your case and issue this document if you need one.

This expert might ask questions, perform a physical exam, or review your medical records. They will assess whether a healthcare professional made a mistake or failed to deliver the care you needed.

Notify Medical Professionals and Their Insurers

Some states require you to notify the healthcare providers you intend to file a claim against and their insurers. Even if you don’t live in a state with this requirement, it’s a good idea to reach out and open a dialogue with the professional who committed the medical malpractice.

If you have a valid case, the insurer will likely reach out with a settlement offer. Your lawyer can help you assess this offer and determine whether accepting it is your best option.

Notify the Medical Licensing Board

Your medical malpractice lawyer can help notify the medical board that issued the license the defendant is practicing under.

Notifying the medical board can put additional pressure on the healthcare provider to make things right. If the board receives a serious complaint or notices a pattern of past complaints, they might decide to revoke this professional’s license.

File the Lawsuit

If the insurer doesn’t offer a settlement or if you decide against accepting it, the next step is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in civil court. Your lawyer can file this lawsuit on your behalf.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and can take years to resolve. You’ll typically undergo a lengthy pre-trial process where you and the defendant must testify. The court will also listen to expert witnesses and their assessment of the medical malpractice that has taken place.

It’s common for defendants and their insurers to offer a settlement during the pre-trial process. With over $3.5 billion paid out to medical malpractice victims in 2022, it’s possible that you’ll receive a fair offer.

If you decide not to accept the settlement, the case will go to trial, and a judge or jury will issue a verdict. If the judge or jury determines that your claim is valid, the defendant or their insurer will pay damages that typically cover your medical costs and other damages.

Wrap Up

If a medical professional made a mistake or failed to provide the level of care you needed, the first step you should take is to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.

These cases can be complex, and it’s crucial to have experts review your claim as early as possible to determine whether you have a valid case.


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