Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be quite time consuming but if you have been a victim, it is your right to pursue a case. There’s nothing more tragic than suffering physical injury or disability or dying all because of a mistake done by a doctor during your medical treatment. It’s hard to accept one’s situation when it is caused by a medical error.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that each year, thousands of people die because of unnecessary surgery as well as medication and other errors in hospitals. For this reason, many health care providers such as physicians and hospitals have been sued with medical malpractice cases. In fact, President Barack Obama pointed out that the increasing cost of medical malpractice insurance for doctors is a significant factor in the rising costs of healthcare in the U.S. His administration has actually proposed a set of best practice guidelines to protect physicians from lawsuits.
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or healthcare institution fails to apply the needed degree of care and skill in providing medical treatment to patients. When the required medical standards are not properly followed, medical malpractice also known as med mal can result. Different fields of specialization have different standards of care. The standards for a dermatologist, for example, differ from those of surgeons.
The first step in making a decision to file a med mal lawsuit is to determine whether you have been a victim or not. Although not all unfortunate incidents during medical treatment are caused by negligence on the part of the physician, patients have the right to pursue a case if they feel they were deprived of proper care. Consulting a legal professional is the right step to take to assess your situation.
When a decision is reached to file a case, the initial step is to determine the liability of medical practitioner. This is quite a challenging stage and may take some time because testimonies of experts and in depth investigations involving medical records and other important documents are required. Negligence has to be established clearly in order for a lawsuit to succeed. When a lawyer finds strong evidence, the physician or physicians involved are then given a written notification of the claims.
Filing a medical malpractice case has to be done as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitation or timeframe allowed to file a case that lawyers have to observe. Legal deadlines may vary from one state to another but usually it is between one and five years. In cases involving a minor, the deadline is extended until the person reaches the legal age.
A lawyer specializing in medical laws and other medical related issues is the best person who can assist patients contemplating on filing claims. Medical malpractice lawyers can help you determine the right legal steps to take and speed up the filing of the lawsuit in court. With their experience working with the medical law system and the hospital system, they are in a better position to advice patients on their rights and legal options.