Medical malpractice claims are filed as a result of any physical, psychological or financial or a combination or all of these damages arising due to negligence of health care provider in performing his/her duties. A medical malpractice, either intentional or unintentional must be dealt severely in order to set an example to health care practitioners and facilities.
Filing a Claim
A medical malpractice claim can be filed either by the patient or his/her representative if it is an incident of wrongful death. A lawsuit filed against medical malpractice considers all the nurses and non-physician staff involved in the case equally guilty. The organization employing these employees can also be brought against the claim.
Conditions for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
While filing a claim against an incident of medical malpractice, a plaintiff has to present information that establishes the following facts:
The health care provider owed a responsibility while performing the treatment on a patient.
The health care provider failed to oblige his duty and thus did not deliver the necessary health care as required for the patient.
The negligence of the health care provider caused damage to the patient.
The evidence of the damage in its form supported by medical records.
Out of Court Settlement
Like any other lawsuit, a medical malpractice claim can be settled out of court through mutual consent and negotiation among the parties involved. Although it may not be considered as an ideal approach by all the plaintiffs; some organizations choose it over the trials as they are saved of time consumed in the trials and the embarrassment that it would bring along. Some plaintiff adopt this approach to save their expenses as well, though others will opt this method if they find the compensation offered by the defendant worthy than spending time in the trial.
Appointing an Attorney
Finding a reputable attorney is very important as the trial will be dependent on the experience of the attorney apart from the facts and evidence that you can produce in your favor. An attorney will be able to suggest whether your case is strong enough to file a lawsuit. You need to pass on all the details related to your case to help the attorney reach a conclusion.
The discussion with an attorney is crucial as it will help you save your time, money and efforts if the attorney finds your case weak. Also, the degree of damage is an important factor in the attorney decision. An incident where patient suffers a permanent physical or mental damage will weigh more than an incident where patient has suffered a minor damage that can be treated within no time.
Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations define the time period within which a lawsuit against any medical malpractice can be filed by the plaintiff. Each state defines a specific statute of limitations that usually ranges from one year to seven years. It may differ depending on the nature of the incident. For example, a child may not learn of the damage for a few years from the date of operation, or a patient who might develop symptoms of HIV a few months or years after he was transfused with contaminated blood. In these situations, the plaintiff may be allowed to file a medical malpractice claim with an exception to the statute of limitations.
To prove that you have suffered a great degree of damage from a malpractice, you will have to get it testified through an expert who possess qualifications and experience in the said medical procedure.
You should keep the following facts in mind related to a medical malpractice claim:
You cannot reopen a case after it is settled.
Analyze your options before you file a lawsuit as you will be required to pay to the attorney, irrespective of the fact whether you win or lose the case.
Obtain all the medical records from the hospital before going to an attorney to discuss your case details.
Citizens are encouraged to file medical malpractice claims so that such incidents can be brought to the notice of the officials. It will be helpful in reducing malpractice incidents in future and will also encourage the heath care providers to perform their duties responsibly.