Getting injured due to a medical error or carelessness of a medical professional can become a very traumatic experience. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are expected to be experts in the medical field, which is why the consequences of any errors caused by them can be emotionally, mentally, and physically frustrating.
Fortunately, if you’ve sustained injuries as a result of their negligence, you can turn to the law for a remedy, and that’s the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the process of filing one comes with several considerations to ensure a positive outcome.
Keep reading this article to learn about the things that you should consider before filing a medical malpractice case.
Existence Of The Three Elements Of A Medical Malpractice Case
It’s important to know that filing a medical malpractice case is never easy. More than anything else, you need to prove the three main elements that constitute a medical malpractice case. If you can’t prove the existence of these elements, it means that you don’t have a medical malpractice lawsuit to file in court.
Primarily, the three elements are:
- Your doctor failed to exercise an accepted standard of care.
- You sustained injuries because the doctor deviated from the standard of care expected of them.
- Your injuries resulted in significant damages, such as lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and many more.
On the other hand, proving that these elements are present is challenging. Unless you’re a legal professional, you probably have to work with a medical malpractice lawyer to help you justify your claim. For example, if there was a failure to diagnose on the part of your doctor, your lawyer will carefully review the facts of your case and determine whether they’re careless in missing a diagnose. They’ll find out the reasons why it happened and help you recover compensation on your behalf.
Burden Of Proof And Strength Of The Evidence
When it comes to the different types of medical malpractice claims, the burden of proof lies with you. This means that the physician isn’t required to prove their innocence. Instead, you and your lawyer are responsible for proving that the medical professional’s mistakes had caused you an injury. This is where the strength of the evidence comes into play.
Generally, the court will look at the pieces of evidence you’ll present and consider the same in determining the negligence of the medical professional. Hence, if you want to boost your chances of winning your case, you should submit extensive medical evidence and information confirming that the other party had done wrong, which resulted in your damages. That way, you can ensure the strength of your evidence in proving to the court that the doctor is negligent in performing their medical duty.
Statute Of Limitations/Time Limits
Just like other personal injury cases, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit has time limits or statute of limitations. This means that you should file your case within the required time limit; else, you’ll be denied your right to recover compensation because the statute of limitations already bars you. Ideally, most states require the victims to file their medical malpractice claims within two years from the date the negligent act took place
Party To Be Sued
When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, prosecuting the right party is essential to make sure that you’re able to get the compensation you deserve. Typically, most victims run after the hospital if medical malpractice is committed against them. Still, the problem arises when the doctor isn’t a hospital employee even if the act happened in a specific hospital.
As such, you should be careful in filing a lawsuit against a particular party to ensure a favorable outcome. For example, if you decide to prosecute a big hospital with a good reputation, you probably have to deal with both emotional and financial struggle before you get the compensation and justice you rightfully deserve. So, consider the people who should be sued to make sure that your case will not fail.
Costs Of A Legal Action
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit isn’t only emotionally and physically draining. It can also cause a lot of financial turmoil, especially when there’s no assurance that you’ll win the case. Thus, it’s best to consider the costs of the legal action before initiating one in court.
For instance, if after assessing the probable litigation expenses of your case, the costs aren’t worth it and the estimated compensation isn’t significant, then, you might want to try other legal remedies, such as arbitration.
Indeed, medical malpractice cases are expensive and laborious. From the party to be sued, the elements of the case, and to the pieces of evidence to be presented, the step-by-step procedure of starting a medical malpractice lawsuit can be extremely tedious.
Therefore, if you’re a victim of someone else’s medical negligence, keep these things in mind to streamline the process and ensure a positive outcome. Lastly, be sure to hire a dedicated legal counsel so you can increase your chances of prevailing over the other party.