Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you find yourself facing problems with a medical malpractice claim, it is always prudent to weigh carefully whether you want to hire a lawyer to represent you, or go it alone. And in particular, you may be called upon to invest some thought into two particularly vexing scenarios: How challenging the legal problem is likely to be; and what are the chances of success.
According to Jason Konvicka: “Medical malpractice happens when a health provider fails to use the recognized procedures when treating the patient after injury.” The “standard care” is defined as, “what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under constant or similar circumstances.” In essence to that, it boils down to know whether the vendor was negligent.
In a perfect situation, and armed with the right facts, it’s possible to handle your claim case without the services of a lawyer, but whether you will succeed, or fail and face penalties, is the most important decision that needs to be made.
Many cases involving medical malpractice are the result of serious harm to patients. Some may be maimed for life. Others may need to use wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. A substantial investment is required, regarding hiring expensive witnesses, to ensure the case succeeds.
We have attempted to analyze below some useful tips to guide those willing to claim medical malpractice by themselves.
1. Need to Determine the Victim
Ordinarily, a malpractice claim will arise when negligence is the primary cause of injury to the patient. But determining an evil cause will not always be acceptable evidence of medical negligence. Many doctors will bolt at the merest suggestion that they are the cause. In some cases, the health-care provider may even provide proof that the same patient has received medical care from another health-care provider in the past.
Proving the existence of a relationship between the doctor and the patient, and providing medical records, will be useful evidence when suing the same doctor.
2. File Claim Soon After Injury
It is advisable to lodge your claim as soon as you can, preferably while still under medication. Six months and two years should be the ideal period. If you file your claim outside this period, the courts have the jurisdiction to throw out/dismiss your claim. It’s referred to as the “statute of limitations.”
3. Prepare Affidavit
Make yourself adequately by seeking out the opinions of experts and swearing an affidavit, which will outline salient features and arguments in front of the panel of judges. Seek someone with experience in this particular field.
4. Provide Proof of Negligence
It’s not enough to show the panel that a relationship existed between you and your doctor and that he was negligent. Demonstrate proof of this negligence by:
-Providing evidence that you received exceptional/different care from other people suffering similar ailment.
-Providing evidence that the doctors’ negligence caused you harm
-If given wrong medication, provide evidence
-If a physician was inebriated when the operation took place, provide proof of substance abuse, etc.
-Stating surgery errors, damaged organs and leaving surgery tools inside the body of a patient.
5. Let Panel See Your Injuries
Malpractice cases do not come cheap. Prepare to hire a medical doctor to examine your records and make a report that corresponds, medically to your injuries. Because they are familiar with the medical literature, doctors will prove “the standard care” demanded by the profession. And table evidence of any negligence.
6. Calculate Your Damages
Take time to include the following in your catalog of damages required:
- Total cost of medical care [provide hospital receipts where possible]
- The pain you have endured and suffering you went through
- Loss of career and income
- Marital considerations, if your spouse left because of your situation
- File Your Medical Claim
By filing your medical claim, you signal that your case has now started. It shows the court, the parties involved and the lawsuit. A well prepared medical application must have the following:
-A brief introduction
-Include all your claims and damages in detail
-Table of facts proving negligence
-Statement whether you need a jury trial
-Arguably, it should be done in double space and paragraphs numbers
-A court filed to court, and a copy served to the doctor by a process server or court bailiff
-The title should be clearly marked “Suit against Dr. ….. for Medical Malpractice.”
With a well-prepared presentation and a confident approach, it is possible to convince the panel of judges that your claim is legitimate. I hope this infographic will help you on filing a successful medical malpractice claim without the aid of a lawyer.