Healthcare practitioners remain well-trusted among Americans – especially during an ongoing pandemic – since they’re responsible for maintaining the nation’s well-being. However, our healthcare providers are not immune from committing mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes lead to serious problems. According to stats, every 33rd child born in the United States suffers from birth injuries. Unfortunately, most of these injuries stem from medical negligence.
Malpractice remains a grave issue in the health industry. Medical mistakes are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, with 250,000+ lives lost by a negligent professional. So, what to do when a healthcare practitioner needs to be sued? We’ll explain the procedure here.
How to bring a lawsuit against your medical provider?
Everyone makes mistakes, but “doctor’s errors” are detrimental to people’s well-being. One study shows that several doctors operated on the wrong patients twenty times a week. Over two-thirds of nurses report how they have committed medication mistakes. No wonder people are increasingly filing lawsuits against doctors these days. Additionally, reports have shown that 85,000 medical lawsuits are filed against healthcare providers as almost a million medical injuries occur yearly.
So, are you a victim of such negligence and plan to sue your doctor? Below, we’ll explain the process to help you create a strong lawsuit. It isn’t easy bringing a lawsuit against a healthcare practitioner. Thus, we’re describing the entire process here. So, follow these steps to take legal action against your negligent doctor:
1. Hire an attorney
Discuss this case with medical malpractice attorneys. For instance, statistics indicate that some 30,000 children are born with a birth injury each year. And most of these injuries are preventable. Thus, you can file birth injury lawsuits successfully by partnering with medical malpractice lawyers. These legal experts can suggest appropriate strategies for taking legal action against your provider. Mostly, they offer free-of-cost preliminary consultation. So, interview some lawyers to hire the best one.
2. Inform your provider
Patients should inform the relevant provider before bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s your goal to remedy the situation that forced you to take legal action against your physician. So, having a conversation with that healthcare practitioner may allow them to rectify their mistake. Sometimes, doctors are willing to perform free-of-cost services to avoid lawsuits and please patients.
3. Check the deadline
Don’t wait too long to go ahead with your claim since the statute of limitations may expire. In some states, such limits expire a year after the incident took place. So, discuss the statute of limitations with the lawyer on your case. You may also search online about which states are more relaxed about these limits. A patient must remain cautious while filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with a foolproof strategy.
4. Contact the board
You may contact the relevant board that governs medical licensing for support and guidance. While these boards can’t compel healthcare providers to compensate you, they can issue warnings against physicians. They may also discipline practitioners while explaining the procedure of bringing lawsuits against careless doctors. So, you now have an ally in your crusade against the negligent provider.
5. Determine guilty parties
Modern-day providers aren’t unfamiliar with malpractice allegations. We learn that almost one-third of doctors have been sued. But should you sue the doctor or the entire hospital? In this case, your attorney helps you decide who’s responsible for your injury. You may bring a lawsuit against more than one party if the answer is unclear. So, determine guilty parties properly before filing a medical malpractice case.
6. Determine your damages
How much money are you expecting to attain from this lawsuit? Determine your damages since the healthcare provider may offer you an out-of-court settlement. Your decision to accept/reject offers like that relies upon the amount of money you need for remedying the situation. You may need this money to pay for your suffering, lost wages, or further medical treatments. After calculating the amount you deserve, you may choose to settle. But do consult your attorney in this case.
7. Get the certificate
Some states now demand patients produce a certificate of merit to establish that a provider’s negligence caused their injuries. You need this certificate to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, so we suggest contacting your attorney to help you out. Also, contact another physician to review your case (i.e., injuries) and testify that your original provider was negligent in their duties.
8. Get medical records
A hospital keeps patients’ medical records even after years have passed. So, you may obtain a facsimile of your medical history from the hospital. Your medical malpractice attorney will help you gather all relevant documents to strengthen your case. Most importantly, these records can help you get the certificate from another physician. So, collect your medical history to prove the doctor’s fault.
9. Consider settling
Over 90% of medical malpractice lawsuits reach out-of-court settlements. Even when there’s strong evidence of negligence, physicians are successful in 50% of these lawsuits. Statistics have indicated that between 80% and 90% of defensible cases are dismissed without compensation. Therefore, a patient shouldn’t reject the option of settling with the healthcare practitioner. It can help you receive some payment for your suffering, and you may even get a gracious settlement in this case.
What’s the process of bringing a lawsuit against your healthcare provider? First, inform the doctor that you’re planning to sue them. Contact the relevant medical board and remember to get a certificate of merit from another physician. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to hire a medical malpractice attorney to strengthen this case. A careful patient files the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. Your attorney will help you get the necessary medical records to support the lawsuit. Now, you have to determine your damages alongside the guilty party involved.
Moreover, several medical malpractice lawsuits also conclude with out-of-court settlements. So, look for this option as well.