How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Prior to filing a medical malpractice case it is important to consider whether the medical provider provided the necessary standard level of care, whether your injuries are severe and whether or not the statute of limitations has expired.
Standard Level of Care
To win a medical malpractice case for your injuries you will need to prove not only that your doctor did not provide the best care possible, but that their negligent actions violated the standard of care. To prove a doctor violated standard of care you will need to prove they did not use the same care or did not possess the necessary skills or expertise that other doctors in the same or similar communities, under similar circumstances, would have used. Standard of care is a nationwide guideline for medical professionals, although there may still be an expectation that care in a major metropolitan area at a top teaching hospital might be different than the expectation of a doctor in a small rural area even if the same field of practice.
Severity of injuries
Due to the expense and complexity of filing a medical malpractice case it may not be worth filing a medical malpractice claim if you do not have significant injuries or high damages. In fact, most medical malpractice lawyers will not even take a malpractice case if they do not expect to be compensated for their time. Medical malpractice lawsuits may take hundreds of hours of an attorney’s time. If you are not sure about the cost of your injuries, talk to an injury lawyer for more information.
Statute of Limitations
Every medical malpractice claim must be filed within a specified time period known as the statute of limitations. Although there may be a few exceptions, generally, if you fail to file your medical malpractice claim within the statute of limitations you will forfeit your right to win compensation for your injuries. Read more on statute of limitations
The statute of limitations varies by state and by type of injury claim. For instance, medical malpractice statute of limitations is different than a products liability case or a car accident claim. The statute of limitations may also vary based on whether you are suing a government employee or facility versus a private medical doctor. The statute of limitations may also not start until certain injuries are discovered, rather than the date the procedure was performed. Minors may also have more time to bring a medical malpractice claim.
If you are considering a medical malpractice claim you can file the case on your own, but almost all claimants hire medical malpractice lawyers to help them. It is not unusual for claimants to need a medical expert to testify for medical malpractice claims and a medical malpractice lawyer will have all of the resources necessary to help you win your injury case.
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