In a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016, John Hopkins researchers stated that medical errors were missing on the list of the leading causes of death and that they should actually be ranked third, behind heart disease and cancer, causing more than a quarter of a million deaths every year.
If your family member was a victim, or if you suffered in any way from medical negligence, which refers to receiving substandard care that directly caused injury or led to an existing condition to get worse, you may be entitled to medical malpractice recovery. For your case to be successful, a medical malpractice attorney must be able to prove there was a failure to provide the proper standard of care and that you’re now suffering as a result, such as being in constant pain, disability, and significant loss of income. Of course, you’ll want to avoid unnecessary litigation, including for revenge, as those types of cases are doomed to fail.
Being well-prepared for a medical negligence lawsuit is your best bet for success.
Carefully Consider the Purpose for the Lawsuit
If you aren’t 100% sure that you have a case, ask yourself if you have a good faith basis for contacting one of the malpractice lawyers in your area. If your gut feeling is yes, why do you want to sue? The reason behind that decision typically dictates the nature of the litigation process as well as the ultimate outcome.
Write a Statement Explaining Your Injury and the Damage it Caused
As you prepare for the first meeting with an attorney, write out a statement as to the injuries you suffered and the damages that resulted. Remember that it’s not enough that your physician or other medical provider did something wrong, there must have been an injury that occurred as a result. Ask yourself if you have a legitimate injury caused by the inaction or action of your healthcare provider, and if so, exactly what the damage was.
You’ll want to be prepared to discuss the full extent of said injury or injuries during that initial consultation with a lawyer, which is why it can be helpful to write down a complete list of all that you’ve suffered as a result of the medical malpractice. Include financial damage such as damage you’ve already sustained due to lack of work along with potential future damages. Future medical costs for long term injuries or disabilities like nursing assistants, modifying your home, and helping with household activities should all be considered too. The cost of treating your injuries is also part of the damages sustained – even if you have insurance that will cover some or all of the expenses, along with any pain and suffering that resulted from the medical provider’s negligence.
Gather All Your Documents
It’s essential to keep all detailed receipts and records of your doctor visits and medical procedures as documentation is critical in a medical negligence case. If you’re still receiving care, make sure your healthcare providers are all giving you this information and file it all together so that it can be easily accessed. While your attorney can request these, it’s always a good idea for you to have copies of your own, and during that consultation, it can be a big help in determining whether or not a lawsuit should be filed.