Steps to file a Medical Malpractice lawsuit

Medical malpractice can range from misdiagnosis and surgical errors to medication mistakes and poor aftercare. However, identifying the specific type of medical malpractice case is critical, as it defines the course of a malpractice lawsuit, should one arise.

When dealing with a medical malpractice case, the initial steps involve identifying the type of malpractice, gathering evidence, and understanding the proof required to file a lawsuit. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit requires meticulous preparation and adherence to legal procedures. The process typically includes several steps, ranging from determining the nature of the malpractice to engaging with the legal system to present your case.

Start here

  • Step 1: Initial Consultation. Your first meeting with a medical malpractice attorney provides an opportunity to ask questions and share information about your situation. The lawyer may inquire about the medical care leading to the injury and your reasons for suspecting malpractice, while ensuring the statute of limitations hasn’t expired.
  • Step 2: Record Collection. Following agreement to proceed, you’ll sign a retainer and contingency fee arrangement outlining potential legal fees and expenses upon winning your case. You’ll also authorize the collection of your medical records, a process that can span up to a year.
  • Step 3: Internal Review. Our medical team will examine your case for standard of care violations and their link to your injury, identifying possible defendants and challenges. This review helps decide whether to litigate or explore alternatives.
  • Step 4: Expert Witness Selection. We then enlist medical experts to bolster your case, providing them with necessary details and documentation to formulate their testimonies.
  • Step 5: Pre-Trial Activities. Entering the pre-trial stage, lasting over 18 months, we gather further evidence, conduct depositions, and address arising legal issues and motions.
  • Step 6: Negotiating Settlements. During pre-trial, settlement offers may be made. Your attorney will guide you through rejecting unsatisfactory proposals and negotiating fair terms.
  • Step 7: The Trial. Absent a settlement, the case proceeds to trial, typically in front of a jury, but judge-alone trials occur in certain instances, like cases against federal employees. These trials can last from a week to a month.
  • Step 8: Jury Decision. Post-trial, the jury deliberates to reach a verdict, announced in court with the decided compensation. In some cases, indecision leads to a mistrial.
  • Step 9: Appeals and Motions. The losing party can appeal the verdict. Both sides may request a verdict adjustment or a new trial if the award seems excessively high or low.
  • Step 10: Conclusion. Settlements culminate in an agreement that precludes future claims against the defendant for the same issue, irrespective of any subsequent changes in your condition.

Helping more than yourself

By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you are not only seeking justice for yourself but also helping to protect future patients from potential harm. These actions can lead to significant changes in medical practices, including the improvement of patient care and even the firing of incompetent doctors in some cases.

Arbitration and Settlement: While some cases may go to trial, many are resolved through arbitration or settlement, which can be quicker and less stressful for the parties involved.

Protecting Others: The impact of a medical malpractice lawsuit can lead to broader systemic changes within healthcare institutions, ensuring that patient safety is prioritized and similar incidents are prevented.

Can Doctors Get Fired?: Yes. In cases where negligence or malpractice is proven, healthcare professionals can face serious repercussions, including losing their license to practice.

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a complex process that requires careful planning and legal guidance. However, it’s not just about compensation; it’s also about holding the healthcare system accountable and ensuring safer medical practices for everyone.