Medical malpractice is one of the trickiest parts of the law, as it’s not always easy to prove it. Medical practitioners in most of these cases can easily deny their liability to the victim’s suffering by claiming that the victim’s injuries were due to standard medical procedures and that they were unavoidable. However, if you read stories for medical negligence victims, you’ll find that this is not exactly true. With almost all medical practitioners being covered with insurance, their defense might seem impenetrable to the victims, which will further discourage them from filing a case.
So, if you don’t know what to do when you fall victim to medical malpractice, here are a few tips to guide you.
Being a victim of medical negligence can make you go through hard times, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover injuries that are a result of these injuries. While this might be a stressful time for all parties concerned. So, you must document details like the date you’ve been admitted to the hospital, the date in which you were injured, the number of dosages you were given, and the names of doctors and nurses involved. You should consider describing in detail what happened from the day you were admitted to the hospital, as this is going to be helpful should you file a lawsuit.
You’re fully entitled to have copies of your medical records and your x-rays, but make sure to have a look at these records first to ensure that they’re complete. Note that you might have to fill out a written request before you can retrieve your medical records from a doctor’s office or the hospital. In all cases, you’re legally entitled to request these records, so no one can tell you that you can’t. If they do, you might have to provide them with a written request. Try as much as possible not to explain why you need these records or that you’re going to use them in a lawsuit.
Hundreds of medical negligence cases are filed each year, especially in Chicago, but not all of them go to full trial. Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Curcio Law Offices explain that most medical negligence cases end with an offer of a financial settlement, then everyone calls it a day. However, when this doesn’t happen you’ll need to hire a proficient malpractice attorney to back you up when your case goes into court. Malpractice laws can differ according to the state you live in. The law in Chicago, for example, dictates two years at most to file a medical malpractice case. Of course, this period starts on the day of your injury. So, hiring an expert lawyer who is fully familiar with these laws in your area is going to guide you through the process of filing a case and will inform you of the best time that you can take your case to court.
Nothing should prevent you from asking your doctor or nurse about what is going on, how they are going to treat you, and the steps of your treatment, make sure that you are persistent and that you get the right answers to your questions. The more you’re aware of what your doctor is doing, the more aware you will be if there were any instances of negligent acts or malpractice. This should also help you along with the documents and the medical records you compile for your case.
In some states, you’ll be obligated to file an affidavit of merit along with your medical malpractice lawsuit. An affidavit is a document submitted by the plaintiff and is signed by an expert. Filing requirements may change according to your state, but some may require minute details, such as the standard care procedures administered regarding the type of treatment that you’ve received, and whether or not these standards were applied in your treatment. Mainly, an affidavit is used only to provide evidence that a specialized person has reviewed your case and approves of its merit. If you don’t know whether or not you need an affidavit for your case, you can consult your attorney.
Medical negligence cases can take a long while to be settled. They’re long, arduous and quite expensive. So, if you’re going to file a lawsuit, make sure that you have the best attorney your money can afford and enough evidence to swing the odds in your favor. This may also include medical witnesses as well as any medical notes related to your treatment.