Being injured or harmed due to a physician’s negligence or incompetence can cause health complications, economic distress, and psychological trauma. Thankfully, there are laws that ensure aggrieved patients receive compensation for the troubles they have faced.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional makes a mistake or an omission that causes injury or harm to a patient. In cases of medical malpractice, healthcare providers such as doctors are aware of possible harmful consequences, but commit the act or omission anyway. Examples of medical malpractice can include:
- Giving a misdiagnosis
- Performing surgery at the incorrect site
- Administering the wrong dosage of medication
- Offering inadequate aftercare
A study by Johns Hopkins has revealed that medical malpractice deaths per year amount to a shocking 251,000.
Can You File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice?
Yes, you can file a civil lawsuit against physicians and other healthcare providers for medical malpractice according to your state’s law. The best way to ensure you receive compensation is by hiring a lawyer. For example, if you or a loved one have been abused in a nursing home, a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer would be helpful.
What Are the Requirements to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In order to recover damages in a medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff must establish four facts:
- The doctor or healthcare provider owed you a duty
- The physician violated the standard of care
- You have a compensable injury
- The violation of the standard of care is what led to the compensable injury
How Can You File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice?
Before filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you should check the medical malpractice law in your state as all states have set a statute of limitations for such cases. A statute of limitations defines the time limit within which you must file your medical malpractice case; most states allow you to file a civil case within one, two, or three years of the injury or discovery of the injury.
Here are the steps you should take for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit:
Speak to the Healthcare Professional Involved
Before filing a lawsuit, it may be worthwhile to speak to the medical professional involved to find out whether the mistake can be rectified. Some doctors may be willing to perform procedures or provide care free of charge to make up for any mishaps.
Find Out the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Your State
You can only file a civil lawsuit against medical malpractice within the time defined by the statute of limitations in your state. It is crucial to figure out whether you can even file a case or not, given the amount of time that has passed since the injury or its discovery.
Get a Medical Assessment to Determine Whether Your Case Has Merit
Many states require you to file a “certificate of merit” that states that your injuries have resulted from negligence by a healthcare professional. To obtain this certificate, you must contact a physician who will review your medical records and ascertain that your injuries resulted due to deviation from established medical practices.
Speak to a Lawyer With Expertise in Medical Malpractice Cases
Once you have verified the statute of limitations applicable in your state and received a medical assessment, contact a medical malpractice attorney. An expert in medical malpractice cases will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you on how to move forward.
Consider an Out-Of-Court Settlement
When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be presented with the option for an out-of-court settlement. Taking an out-of-court settlement can help you save time and effort. However, if you feel that your case has merit, it may be better to take the case to court to receive a greater settlement–your lawyer can help you decide which path you should choose.
How Much Can You Be Compensated For A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Each case varies greatly, so it is difficult to estimate how much you can be compensated. The average compensation in medical malpractice lawsuits, however, is approximately $242,000, in the United States.
Of course, as soon as you feel you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, be sure to hire an established attorney, such as those at Strom Law, to help you make sure you get the compensation you deserve.