Like any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice lawsuits can have life-changing repercussions for both plaintiffs and defendants. Victims of malpractice should seek compensation if they have a valid claim, but they should be aware of all the steps and possible outcomes beforehand so they can make an informed decision. Here is some background information to help you determine whether filing a malpractice lawsuit is the right course of action for you.
Know whether you have a case
Medical malpractice can be difficult to prove, and an unfortunate outcome of medical treatment doesn’t necessarily mean the doctor is at fault. You have to be able to prove that harm was caused by medical negligence, or an act or omission that directly resulted in patient injury. Doctors must follow a “standard of care,” which is the accepted treatment practice for a given ailment throughout the medical profession. If you feel the standard of care has not been followed, this can be very difficult to prove, especially for someone without a medical background, so take a proactive role in your medical treatment. Clear, open communication with healthcare providers is important every step of the way.
Often if a mistake has been made, a doctor will apologize and offer steps to redress the error, as insurance companies want to settle out of court whenever possible. If you suspect that you or someone you love have been the victim of medical error, it is vital to keep records of all treatments, bills, and office visits in order for an expert to determine whether your claim of malpractice is justified.
Know your options
Once you have determined that your malpractice claim is viable, you must act quickly as statues of limitation (filing deadlines for medical malpractice lawsuits) can vary by state, as can procedures for filing. This is why it is very important to hire a personal injury lawyer who is licensed in the state where the malpractice happened. Medical malpractice suits most often result in out of court settlements, and lawsuits can be difficult to win and expensive to prosecute because expert testimony might be required. It’s best to talk with your lawyer about what option is best for you.
Know your personal injury attorney
Before hiring a medical malpractice attorney, it is very important to ask a series of relevant questions. For example, find out whether the person has dealt with cases like yours before, how long the attorney has been licensed in your state, and how much other clients have received in damages. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a very important step, so be sure you’re comfortable with whoever you choose to represent your interests—don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
For more information about personal injury law, contact the experts at Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein today for a free consultation. Whether you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, on the job, or as a result of medical treatment, you should be aware of your options. Contact AEE Law today at (212) 221-5999.