If you believe you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice, hiring a medical negligence attorney needs to be your next step. There are reasons why:
Did you know that in many parts of the U.S., more than 20 medical malpractice suits occur per 100,000 residents? Take Texas, for instance. In 2015, the state saw over 25 malpractice suits for every 100,000 residents.
That shows how common medical malpractice and negligence is in the country. In fact, 34% of physicians have had a patient file a claim against them.
That said, don’t ignore your suspicions that a doctor committed negligence or malpractice. If you believe you or a loved one is a victim, contact a medical negligence attorney right away.
Why exactly is this such an important step though? Couldn’t you just sue the doctor who you think made a mistake or was negligent?
We’ll answer all these questions and more in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
1. Medical Malpractice Laws Vary from State to State
First, let’s take a closer look at the definition of medical malpractice.
This occurs when a patient suffers an injury caused by a health care professional. This injury arises from a doctor’s or a hospital’s negligent act or omission. Incorrect diagnosis or inappropriate treatment are a few examples of medical malpractice.
Seems like a pretty straightforward definition, doesn’t it? The thing is, each state has its own laws on what constitutes medical malpractice. They also have their own legal methods of handling these personal injury claims.
The law is confusing enough as it is, but it can be even more so to someone who’s suffering and in pain. This can then give rise to delays or mistakes when filing a claim. Either way, these can affect the success rate of a medical negligence claim.
Prevent this by enlisting an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in your state. A medical malpractice lawyer has the skills, knowledge, and experience to navigate this complex world. They know the ins and outs of the laws in their state of practice, so they can give you ultimate guidance on your claim.
2. Strict Filing Periods of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
One way that U.S. medical malpractice laws vary lies in each state’s statute of limitations. In general, a “statute of limitations” is a time limit on when one can start a case in a state’s civil courts. If you fail to file a claim within this time frame, you may already lose your right to any form of legal remedy.
States like Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee only give victims one year to file a claim. The majority of states, including Texas, have a two-year statute of limitations. But there are also some cases in Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia that have a 10-year time limit.
These statutes also have subcategories that make them even more confusing. Take Tennessee’s laws, for instance, wherein the limit is a year from the time a person sustained an injury. But there are cases when the limit can increase up to (but no more than) three years from the negligent act.
As you can see, this can be confusing for an average person, much more to a victim of malpractice injury. That’s why it’s best you hire one of the experienced medical malpractice lawyers in your state. They have the knowledge and experience to build a case and prove its merits before the time limit ends.
3. Medical Malpractice Lawyers Handle Dealings with Insurance Companies
At the very least, a claim involves facing two insurance companies. Your insurance provider and that doctor’s insurance company.
If you’re in pain or are hurting because someone you love died due to a medical mistake, this is the last thing you need. In fact, you may be in no condition (physical or mental) to deal with insurance companies.
Hire a medical malpractice attorney, and your legal team will perform all these tasks for you. They’ll handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. This includes providing proof or evidence that your doctor did commit a mistake.
4. A Medical Negligence Attorney Can Determine Your Claim’s Merits
One of the first steps on how to sue a doctor for pain and suffering is to prove the doctor’s responsibility. Or in this case, irresponsibility and negligence that led to you or a loved one now suffering.
If you go with the DIY approach, you would have to gather evidence that points to a medical mistake. You would also need to explain the relevance of the documents you show to the courts. Even the smallest error can cause a drop in your case’s merits.
Leave the evidence gathering, their explanations, and court dealings to a lawyer. They’re much more knowledgeable when it comes to medical and legal terminologies.
5. In-Depth and Objective Investigation for a Stronger Case
Resentment and anger are common and natural reactions in victims of medical malpractice. However, these emotions can impede your objectivity needed to come up with a strong case. They may hinder your ability to research your case thoroughly.
This can result in you missing minor, yet important details that can help your case.
That’s why you need someone experienced who will look at your case in an objective manner. This is especially important when dealing with insurance companies and the court.
A medical malpractice attorney will review all aspects of your case to prove its merits. They won’t miss any detail that can bolster your case’s success rate. For instance, they’ll investigate the doctor for previous malpractice lawsuits.
6. Increased Chances of a Successful Claim
Everything that a medical malpractice lawyer can — and will — do for you can raise your chances of a settlement. Not only any “settlement” but an amount of legal remedy that you deserve for all your pain and suffering. Meaning, you have higher chances of getting a bigger settlement with a lawyer than if you file a claim on your own.
7. Focus on Your Rehabilitation and Recovery
Your medical malpractice attorney will take care of almost everything for your case. This frees up your time, which you can then use to concentrate on getting better.
Lawyer Up to Raise Your Chances of Receiving a Fair Settlement
As you can see, there are many reasons that you’d want a medical negligence attorney on your side. At the end of the day, your lawyer will relieve much of the burden of a medical malpractice claim. With your attorney’s help, you can focus on getting better or helping a loved one recover.
All that said, consider hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer ASAP! This way, you don’t have to worry about your state’s statute of limitations. You have every right to lawyer up, so talk to one if you believe you or a family member is a victim of a medical mistake.
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