Victims of medical malpractice have several challenges that face them as they attempt to recover compensation for their injuries. The major obstacle is that physicians win a majority of medical malpractice cases, especially when the evidence is weak. Even when evidence is strong, medical providers still win about 50% of all cases. If you’re hoping to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, keep these tips in mind.
Top 10 Things You Need to Win a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Retain an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
This is the number one thing you must do if you want to win your medical malpractice case. This is not an area of law that you’ll be able to successfully navigate yourself without expert counsel. This is because the medical provider will have highly experienced attorneys on their side who deal with medical malpractice claims on a daily basis. They know what they’re doing, so you need someone in your corner who can match their experience and knowledge.
Other types of personal injury cases can sometimes be successfully settled with insurance companies without getting an attorney involved. However, medical malpractice is such a complex area of law that some personal injury attorneys won’t take these cases at all. Retaining an experienced medical malpractice attorney not only greatly increases your odds of winning your lawsuit, it also allows you to focus on your recovery rather than on your legal situation. Removing this stress can help you recover more quickly.
File Your Claim On Time
Each state sets its own timeline for filing medical malpractice cases, so you have to be aware of the statute of limitations in your state. For example, some states dictate that you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the date you first knew about your injuries. If you miss this deadline, it’s most likely that your lawsuit will be dismissed without any type of review or litigation. You must file your lawsuit in a timely manner.
Again, this is where an experienced attorney comes in. When you hire a medical malpractice lawyer in your area, they’re going to know the deadlines for filing so you can rest assured that you won’t miss out on the opportunity to receive compensation for your injuries. Plus, they’ll also be aware of all other filing deadlines, and know exactly how the process works, so your claim will move through the system as quickly as possible.
Present Strong Evidence
As previously mentioned, medical providers win the majority of cases that do not have strong evidence of malpractice. This is because the burden of proving medical malpractice is extremely high because juries tend to trust physicians to do what they think is best in almost all situations. Your evidence needs to be overwhelming for juries to rule in your favor, and if you have the evidence, you need to be able to present it in a convincing way.
An experienced attorney will know exactly how to make the most of the evidence against the medical provider in your case. They will also have experts who will be able to provide testimony that shows how your injuries occurred. While you may not have the financial means to hire an expert on your own, you’ll have access to them through your lawyer, which automatically gives your case a boost. Credible expert witnesses have a lot of sway with jurors.
Send a Demand Letter
Sending the medical provider or the provider’s insurance company a demand letter should be one of the first steps you take when considering a lawsuit for medical malpractice. Many plaintiffs neglect this step, but it can seriously jeopardize your case. This letter will describe your injuries and the events that led up to you receiving those injuries. It’s a summary of your encounter with the provider, why you believe you deserve compensation, and the amount of damages you are seeking.
This letter must be properly worded so that the insurance company and the provider know you’re serious. Hiring an attorney to write your demand letter can sometimes get you a settlement without ever needing to see the inside of a courtroom. Of course, many providers will fight a medical malpractice charge, but without the demand letter, you could be staring at no settlement offer or sitting on the wrong side of a jury’s verdict.
Secure Expert Testimony
We briefly touched on this in the evidence section, but it’s so important that it bears repeating. Expert testimony is almost mandatory in a medical malpractice suit. Juries and judges need to hear from someone who is equal or superior to the defendant tell them that you were injured due to the defendant’s negligence. Without this testimony, they are more likely to believe the defendant did not do anything wrong or that you are inflating your injury claims.
When you hire a medical malpractice attorney, you’ll likely be operating on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay for access to these experts, or for representation itself, until and unless you receive compensation in the form of a settlement or award. Your attorney will provide the best experts for your case at no upfront charge to you, which is something you may not financially be able to do on your own.
Medical Records, Bills, and Documents
Whether you decide to represent yourself in your medical malpractice suit or you hire an attorney, you’ll need to gather together your medical records, bills, lost wage records, and other documents related to your injuries. This information will be necessary to demonstrate how much you have lost due to your injuries. If you retain an attorney, you’ll gain access to financial experts who will use this information to calculate your actual and projected losses.
In medical malpractice cases, you’re also allowed to make a claim for non-tangible losses, including pain and suffering. These losses can be more challenging to calculate than medical bills and lost wages. A financial expert can ensure you seek proper compensation for your injuries and not shortchange yourself, especially if the evidence against the defendant is strong. Calculating your total losses should be done before you send your demand letter so that you have a starting point for negotiations.
Hire an Investigator
This is another perk of retaining an attorney to represent you in your medical malpractice case. An investigator will be able to track down witnesses, secure witness statements, uncover evidence, and provide other valuable information helpful to your case. Again, you may not have the financial ability to hire an investigator on your own, but your attorney will have access to at least one who can do the legwork on your behalf.
Additionally, with the injuries you’ve suffered, you’re probably not able to investigate your own case, so hiring someone to do it for you is likely necessary. By hiring a lawyer, you can let them handle all the details of litigating your case, including the investigation. You can focus on healing and your recovery. Certainly, you’ll always be in the loop in terms of what your attorney is doing, but you can have peace of mind that you’re in good hands.
Medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are not easy to handle, even when you have a lifetime of experience. No two cases are alike, so there’s always something that comes up that’s better handled by an expert attorney in the field. Contact The Nail Law Firm to schedule your initial consultation today so we can discuss your medical malpractice case.