The term “medical malpractice” sounds scary, and it’s something most of us never think will happen to us. But the unfortunate truth is that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States according to a Johns Hopkins study. Whether it’s a misdiagnosis, surgical or medicinal mistake, medical malpractice can lead to life-threatening conditions and, in some cases, even death. This is where medical malpractice lawsuits come into the picture. Victims use the legal system to hold the responsible physician or hospital accountable and as a way to seek compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages. However, successfully filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be extremely difficult — even with the help of an experienced lawyer. Here are five things you need to know about medical malpractice claims to increase your chances of a successful outcome.
1. There’s a Time Limit for Filing Your Lawsuit
If you’ve suffered an injury that you believe was a direct result of a medical error, it’s critical that you file your case as quickly as possible. Because most states have a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you won’t be able to seek compensation if you don’t pursue it in time.
2. You Might Need to Go Through a Preliminary Review Panel
Many states require that victims submit their claim to a review panel, where they’ll review evidence and listen to testimony to decide whether or not malpractice has occurred. The panel does not replace an actual lawsuit or provide compensation, but their findings will be presented in court — and could therefore affect the outcome of your case.
3. You May Need a Medical Assessment
In some states, victims of medical malpractice are required to get a medical assessment before they can file suit. This physical evaluation should be conducted by a doctor unrelated to the physician responsible for the malpractice, who will determine whether or not your injuries are a direct result of malpractice. If so, they’ll issue a certificate of merit, which will be used as proof in your lawsuit.
4. You May Be Able to Avoid Court by Going Through Your Insurance Company
To avoid a lengthy legal process, you can notify your insurance company and the responsible doctor or hospital of your intent to file suit. This often results in an internal review that leads to the insurance company offering compensation directly. It’s important to hire a medical malpractice lawyer to negotiate for you; otherwise, the insurance company may try to intimidate you into dropping the lawsuit or settling for less than you deserve.
5. Using an Experienced Lawyer
Unlike most other types of personal injury lawsuits, the law often favors the physician rather than the victim in a medical malpractice claim. In order to receive the compensation you deserve, you’ll need the help of an expert you can trust. A medical malpractice attorney with proven experience representing these specific types of cases will be critical for the success of your claim. When you meet with potential lawyers to discuss your case, make sure to ask about their experience, history of wins and reviews from previous clients to make sure you’re in good hands.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys with Historic Wins for Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a physician or healthcare facility, you have the right to seek justice for your suffering. The nationally recognized lawyers of Janet, Janet & Suggs have helped victims of medical negligence all over the country — including in Baltimore, Chicago, Columbia, NYC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Charlotte and Des Moines. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case, and let us seek the compensation you and your family deserve.