In the medical world, even though nurses and doctors have to work according to a code of ethics to ensure high-quality care for patients, accidents happen. Sometimes it is because of sheer neglect or carelessness and it constitutes medical malpractice. Then the patient can pursue a claim for compensation.
Representation in legal proceedings
A medical malpractice claim needs to be made within a certain time – usually within three years from the time the malpractice occurred.
One of the first steps involved with a medical malpractice claim is to consult a medical malpractice attorney. The reason for this also is that medical malpractice law is highly regulated and this varies from state to state, so it is important to have representation from a reputable, skilled lawyer.
Crowe Mulvey, LLP specializes in medical malpractice claims. These sorts of claims are so complex and can take years to finalize. Without the best lawyers, you don’t really have a chance. The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers can help you regain control of your life.
Filing the lawsuit
Medical malpractice cases must be brought quickly after the injury while things are still fresh. If you don’t file the lawsuit within the specified time, the court can dismiss the case. Some states require the patient to first submit the claim to a malpractice review panel.
The team of experts will review the evidence and decide if malpractice has occurred. The decision of the panel in no way replaces an actual medical malpractice lawsuit. The findings of the panel can, however, be presented in court.
Your attorney will work with you to collect all the evidence possible to support your medical malpractice claim. There are always lots of documents and other information required and your lawyer will work with you to collect details on any medical records you have.
Some documents that can help with proving medical negligence are witness statements, medical records such as x-rays, photographs, financial evidence and reports from medical experts. Details of all the costs you’ve incurred because of the injury caused by the malpractice will also be of value.
Once this is done, the next step will be your attorney issuing a summons to the person or persons you have a claim against.
Once the person receives the summons, they may well deny the allegations directed at them. However, once the defendant has completed its investigations, they may offer a settlement. Without a lawyer, you wouldn’t know whether to accept this or not.
If you don’t accept the offer, then the matter will go to trial. Many medical malpractice lawsuits settle before they go to trial simply because it is in both sides’ best interests to avoid all the expense and inconvenience of a trial. A settlement gives the plaintiff some money and they, therefore, lose the risk of losing at trial. Defendants are likely to pay out less in a settlement than were things to go to trial.
The claim goes to court
With a case going to court, the judge hears the evidence and then will determine what compensation is to be awarded. It takes a lot of time to compile evidence, book a court date and complete the trial process.
As suggested, if the defendant offers a settlement, it reduces the time it takes to wrap up a claim. A settlement can be offered only after court proceedings are well underway. Unless a settlement is reached, you can expect at least 2 to 4 years from the date of instituting your claim to the time everything is finally wrapped up.