When your healthcare provider harms you instead of healing you, there are legal options to pursue, such as medical malpractice lawsuits. However, even the name of this legal proceeding sounds intimidating. To break down any formidable barriers, here is an overview of the medical malpractice lawsuit process.
Meet With an Attorney and File a Claim
The very first steps in the legal process involve obtaining the right legal aid. Though you could attempt this on your own, a trained medical malpractice attorney will have both the skills and experience to get your case through the system. Set up a consultation with a lawyer you trust and work together to file a claim. This process will take time since you must gather evidence and fill out paperwork. But once you make the claim against the medical personnel, you will officially begin the lawsuit process.
Work Through the Discovery Process
Though each state may have slightly different procedures, the likely next step for you will be the discovery process. This is the time where both parties and their lawyers exchange information pertaining to the case. Articles such as critical evidence, medical records, insurance information, and legal documentation must pass between the defense and the plaintiff. Discovery is important for each side to ascertain the entirety of the facts and develop their arguments in response. At this stage, your attorney may also consult with an expert witness to corroborate your story and attest to the deficient or incompetent medical care. This person can also help you prove emotional and psychological trauma that resulted from the improper care in question.
Negotiate a Settlement
Each side will sit together and bring to the table their analysis. If the case has merit—meaning the other side acknowledges your claim—then the defense will likely offer you a settlement. Now, this is where the process diverges. If you agree with the settlement they offer, you can take your rightful compensation and bring the case to a close. However, if you do not agree to the amount or if you want to push your case further, you can decide to go to trial. This can be expensive, though, so be careful when making this decision. A trial does not guarantee you a different outcome so be sure it is the best legal decision.
Going To Trial
The trial process is lengthy, so if you choose this path, prepare yourself for a long ride. Before the trial, you and your lawyer will prepare statements, arguments, and practice your testimony. Though anything can happen in the heat of the moment, the most important thing to remember during your day in court is to remain calm and focused. You chose this path to get maximum compensation, so keep that goal in sight.
An overview of the medical malpractice lawsuit process will prepare you for your decision to address your painful medical experience. Your personal injury is worth fighting for, so seek legal counsel today to begin the proceedings.