Doctors are generally well trained and well prepared for even the worst-case scenario of whatever health emergencies there may be. But because of unforeseen circumstances, medical malpractice is not uncommon. Be it from over fatigue, as is relayed in most cases, negligence, and even from the failure to learn and be up-to-date with the latest technology in the medical field, medical malpractice is an unfortunate situation that is unavoidable.
In the event medical malpractice occurs, it will most likely result in a malpractice lawsuit. For the best settlement, it is best for you to come out prepared. Here’s how you can do so:
Hire A Competent Lawyer
Naturally, before you can successfully file your case in court, you must first hire a competent lawyer. No lawsuit can generally be filed in court without the assistance of a lawyer. Plus, it is a lawyer who can help you out with the preparation for your case, such as gathering all the necessary documents and witnesses, determining what you should be suing for, and how you can have the best settlement for your case. It is only through competent medical malpractice lawyers that your rights will be heard, as they know the law more than you do, and they know what it is that you must fight for against the erring doctor.
Ensure That You Satisfy All Elements Of Medical Malpractice
Before you can successfully bring up a lawsuit for medical malpractice against a doctor, there are elements that you must first satisfy. All these elements must be complete, as the absence of one will bar you from filing a medical malpractice case. These requisites are the following:
- That there is the presence of a patient-doctor relationship, which means that the doctor in question is the one you hired and that this particular doctor had agreed to be hired
- That the doctor was negligent, which means that there was harm caused by the doctor, which, under the same circumstances, a competent doctor wouldn’t have committed.
- That the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
- That the injury led to damages, such as physical pain and mental anguish, and loss of earning capacity.
Collect All The Information That You Need
After meeting with your lawyer, you should already know by now the necessary information and documents you must gather as evidence for your case. Especially in medical malpractice cases, you need evidence to prove that, indeed, there was negligence that led to the injuries you now suffer. Be sure to keep all medical records with you, and all the other information that you need to strengthen your case.
On the bright side, too, the collecting and preservation of data and relevant information to your case is now made even easier because of technology to help you out. Gone are the days when everything has to be on paper, as you now have videos, images, and other digital evidence and information to back your case up.
Study The Specific Type Of Medical Malpractice Case That Applies To You
If you think that medical malpractice is specific only to the case that you are fighting for, you are wrong. There are many types of medical malpractice that you can sue for, and you can easily identify the course of your medical malpractice case when you can easily group this in the specific type that it belongs to. In general, medical malpractice cases can be grouped into three:
- Failure to diagnose, which refers to the doctor’s inability to discover the patient’s illness, or perhaps may have diagnosed a wrong one.
- Improper treatment, which refers to the incompetence of the doctor to administer the proper treatment.
- Failure to warn the patient of the risks, which refers to the doctor’s failure of making the patient aware of the possible risk factors that may happen in the course of the treatment.
Ask Your Lawyer To Walk You Through The Process
Your lawyer and yourself as the client aren’t on a level playing field when you discuss your case. Remember that your lawyer has years of experience in law that you don’t. Before you even delve into the details of your lawsuit, you should first ask your lawyer to walk you through the process of the case, from the very beginning, and until the final settlement.
When you do this, you are better informed about the procedural aspects of the case you are filing, and you have an idea of what it is you should expect as well. How grueling will the case be? How long will the lawsuit last? What are the costs that are expected to be paid? How much of these costs will be recovered? Also, your lawyer should walk you through the process as to how to apply for, and accept a settlement, and whether you should reject it and make a counter-offer.
As perfect as doctors may seem, and as much as the end goal really is to avoid medical malpractice problems, do remember that they are human, too, and they can commit an error one way or another. From simple mistakes to medication errors and even surgery errors due to unfamiliarity with the latest gadget in the operating room, medical malpractice can occur and result in a lawsuit. With these tips to guide you, you are better equipped when walking into that courtroom to manage this lawsuit.