No one expects to go to the hospital and be injured due to their care or lack thereof. However, this happens more often than you might think. If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical negligence by a hospital, you may be wondering if you have a case. We will discuss how to sue a hospital for medical negligence or malpractice and what steps you need to take.
1. Consult with an Experienced Attorney
The first step you need to take if you want to sue a hospital for medical negligence is to hire a professional medical malpractice attorney. Medical negligence cases are complex and require the expertise of a lawyer who has experience in handling all aspects of such cases. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to review your situation and determine whether or not you have a valid claim. If you have a valid claim, the attorney will help you file a lawsuit against the hospital.
2. Gather Evidence
The next step in suing a hospital for medical negligence is to gather evidence. That will include medical records, witness statements, and any other documentation that will support your claim. It’s essential to have as much evidence as possible when filing a lawsuit, increasing the chances of getting a fair settlement. If you have been injured due to medical negligence, it is essential to act quickly. The sooner you take action, the better your chances of success.
3. Prove Negligence
To win your medical negligence case against the hospital, you must prove that the hospital was negligent in caring for you or your loved one. You will need to show that the hospital breached the standard of care expected of medical professionals. You will also need to show that this breach of care led to your injuries. Your attorney will handle most of this process by obtaining affidavits of merit from medical experts willing to testify on your behalf. After reviewing your case, the experts will clarify that your injuries should have never happened, pointing toward the hospital’s or doctors’ negligence and breach of care duty.
If you can successfully do all three of these things, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. However, it can be challenging to do, so it is so important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Dealing with doctors and institutions waving around complex medical malpractice insurance policies is not a journey to make alone. The attorney will help you navigate the system and obtain enough evidence to prove causation.
4. Prove Damages
To recover damages in a medical negligence case, you must show that you have suffered some harm due to the hospital’s negligence. Compensation could include:
- physical injuries,
- emotional distress,
- financial damages such as lost wages,
- loss of enjoyment for daily activities,
- unnecessary further medical treatments to fix you
- and even delayed travel plans.
Again, an experienced attorney will be able to help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your damages.
5. File a Lawsuit
After you have gathered evidence and built a strong case, the next step is to file a lawsuit against the hospital. It will need to be done within the statute of limitations, which is the time frame in which you are legally allowed to file a lawsuit. In most states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the date of the injury. That is where an experienced medical malpractice attorney can be beneficial. They will handle all aspects of the lawsuit, including filing the necessary paperwork and representing you in court.
6. Go to Trial
If your case is not resolved through a settlement, it will likely go to trial. It is a lengthy and expensive process, but it may be the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
If your case goes to trial, the attorney will represent you in court and present your case to a judge or jury. If you successfully prove your case, you may be awarded damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The above steps are just a general overview of how to sue a hospital for medical negligence. Every case is different, and the specific steps you need to take may vary depending on the facts of your case. If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical negligence, it’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.