According to the National Practitioner Data Bank in 2012, there were 12,142 medical malpractice payouts. That’s one every 43 minutes! This statistic alone shows that this is not uncommon and is affecting the lives of many people around the world. Medical malpractice is caused by a medical professional’s negligence which causes injuries to a patient. If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, here are the first few steps to filing a lawsuit.
CONTACT THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
You should first try to understand what went wrong during your procedure by contacting the medical professional that you worked with. In some cases, the professional will perform services free of charge to resolve the issue. If this does not resolve the issue, you may want to get in touch with a board that governs medical licenses. They can issue warnings and discipline the medical professional.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
There is a certain amount of time you have after your accident to pursue legal actions and file a claim, depending on what state you live in. They call this the statute of limitations. It’s important to find out what the law is in your state, so time doesn’t run out.
SEEK A SECOND OPINION
Seeing another doctor will help make your case stronger. In fact, in many states, it is required for patients to file a certificate of merit. The other doctor must show that the original doctor did not practice acceptable medical practices, which resulted in your injury. After proving this, the attorney you hire will file for the certificate of merit to confirm it.
GET LEGAL GUIDANCE
Most importantly, contact a medical malpractice attorney to see if you have a case. They have the knowledge to help you understand the law, answer questions, collect damages, and assist you every step of the way.