Suing for medical malpractice, or even considering the possibility that a suit is necessary, can make you feel nervous and unsettled. The prospect of a drawn-out battle with attorneys, not to mention the potential for losing a lot of money in the process can create panic. While it may be tempting to try to quietly and quickly solve the case, it is not always in your best interest to handle these situations on your own. It is best to assemble a specialized team that can guide you and protect your best interest.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical News Today defines medical malpractice as “professional negligence by a healthcare professional or provider in which the provided treatment is substandard and has caused harm, injury or death to the patient.” This could include errors in the diagnosis, the course of therapy or the follow-up care. The definition does not only cover those specific actions the doctor may have done but also things he or she did not do intentionally or unintentionally.
According to a report in BMJ Quality and Safety (from April 2013), the most common reason for malpractice suits is diagnostic errors, leading to approximately 160,000 deaths per year. The researchers reviewed around 350,000 malpractice cases filed in the United States over the past 25 years and found that the majority of these cases were related to misdiagnosis.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine determined that the majority of physicians in the United States will face a malpractice action during their career. However, that does not mean that every medical practitioner will face large payouts and career-crippling disciplinary action. The same study found that only about 20 percent of all filed claims end up in financial payouts.
If you want to maximize the potential of a favorable outcome, it is important that you take concrete steps and listen to the experts’ advice.
Steps To Take
The most important step you can take is to discuss your case with a highly qualified attorney. An expert will be able to advise you and offer you firsthand information on what it is to be done to best settle the case.
While it can be tempting to try to handle a potential malpractice case on your own, it is best to follow these guidelines:
- Hire an attorney with years of experience in handling malpractice cases.
- Assemble all charts and records related to your care. Turn these files over to your attorney for safekeeping and offer all the information he may need to build the case
- Politely refuse any discussion with the defender’s attorney, instead referring him or her to your lawyer.
- Work with your attorney to prepare for investigation and depositions.
- Obtain affidavits from another medical provider in the same area of specialty who has reviewed the case and feels that there is a good faith basis for the malpractice.
- Under the law, you have to get the defendant notice that you are going to pursue an action, called a notice of intent.
Working Through A Malpractice Case
Once you have completed the first steps, it is critical to work closely with your attorney to ensure the most favorable outcome for everyone. The legal team at Vastola & Kirwin has the expertise to guide you through the challenges of a malpractice lawsuit, including discovery and depositions. This can be a time-consuming process, but allowing us to handle this for you will make it much easier. It is imperative that you follow expert advice when answering questions and providing information to avoid erroneously damaging your case.
Another critical step you must take is to ensure that all records related to the case are gathered. This includes hospital charts, office files, physician’s notes and lab test results. You should immediately turn these files over to your attorney for safekeeping. All documents will need to remain in your lawyer’s possession until the malpractice case is settled.
As unsettling as a lawsuit can be, the attorneys at Valdosta and Kirwin will provide the expert level of legal counseling that you need to handle your case. If you have the slightest worry or wonder, you might want to contact an attorney asking for information.
Call us and we will review the case and create a solid plan. Do not take any steps toward resolving the case on your own. Contact us first, set up a consultation and let us handle the details. Here, at our Vastola & Kirwin, P.A. offices, we have assembled a team of lawyers who have years of experience in dealing with the intricacies of malpractice cases.
We have handled many high profile cases and have the skills needed to navigate through the complexities of any malpractice claim. With our combined expertise, we will be able to build the best possible case for you. Our focus throughout the case will be in representing you as a patient, a community member, and a person. Contact us today and let us handle the challenges of the suit.
If you have been injured by a medical malpractice, you are owed compensation for your suffering. Contact Law Offices of Vastola & Associates., to discuss your case. We will help you with assistance and consultancy throughout the entire process. We service clients in Stuart, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and North Palm Beach, Florida.