June 4, 2020
If you or someone you love was injured at a hospital due to negligence, you may be questioning if suing the hospital for negligence to recover damages applies to your case. The answer is yes, any patient has the legal right to collect compensation for an injury caused by negligence. But although Medical Malpractice laws are designed to protect the rights of the harmed individual, the first step in asserting those rights must be taken by the patients themselves.
If you’ve already decided to pursue your Medical Malpractice case, the first thing you need to know is that even when you have the right to sue the establishment, there are many things to consider if you want to do it in the right order and have more chances to collect compensation. Here are the first steps to take when you or a loved one have been affected by medical malpractice.
- Sue before the Statute of Limitations Deadline Passes: Don’t wait too long to file a Medical Malpractice lawsuit. Statutory time limits require patients to file legal claims promptly. The time limits vary by state, but they can be as short as one year from the date the treatment mistake was made.
- Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney: A Medical Malpractice case isn’t the type of legal case you want to handle on your own. These cases can get very complex from a legal, medical, and procedural standpoint. Proving your case is going to require not just a firm understanding of the law, but a familiarity with the kinds of hoops a Medical Malpractice plaintiff needs to jump through.
- Verify Whether the Hospital Itself Was Actually Negligent: Just because medical negligence occurred at a hospital, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the facility itself can be held responsible. If your case is based on sub-standard care provided by an individual doctor, and that doctor is an independent contractor, you need to pursue action against the doctor him/herself.
- Get Medical Records: A hospital must keep every patient’s medical records for at least a few years after treatment. Upon request, the hospital must give copies of the records to the patient.
- Determine Your Damages: At some point, the hospital might make a proposal to settle the case. It is important for the patient to determine the value of the case. We recommend hiring a Medical Malpractice attorney that knows to calculate all possible losses and harm stemming from the malpractice.
- Draft and File a Complaint: The complaint should indicate the patient’s name, the names of the parties responsible, a description of how the injury happened, the harm that was caused, and the amount of money that the patient expects in compensation. The patient should file the complaint at the office of the clerk of the local branch of the state court.
Once again, we suggest that you hire a specialized Medical Malpractice lawyer to handle your case. Here at Gharibian Law, we recognize that there is always an inherent risk when it comes to healthcare and we welcome your call to have a legal consultation to see if we can help you with your case. Contact us at 888-288-0091 or schedule a free consultation now.