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What to Expect When Filing Medical Malpractice Claims

April 19, 2021 Pegalis Law Group

Are you thinking about filing a medical malpractice claim against your doctor or another healthcare provider? These types of claims have specific filing procedures that may vary by state. Thus, medical malpractice claims usually require professional expertise. As a law firm focused on medical malpractice cases, Pegalis Law Group, LLC outlines the process and what to expect for our prospective clients in the New York area.

Why Medical Malpractice Claims Require Professional Expertise

While you may see a successful outcome from taking another driver to small claims court for damages to your vehicle or person without hiring a lawyer, medical malpractice cases are more complex. It is difficult to build a medical malpractice case and refute the other side’s evidence without the help of an experienced legal team. You can bet the healthcare provider in question is going to spare no expense in hiring a qualified defense attorney or perhaps even an entire team to represent them, so you should also seek adequate representation. Medical malpractice cases often require the testimony of credible medical experts, which can be challenging to find without a law firm’s vast resources and contacts list. Many cases of medical malpractice involve long-term healthcare expenses or lifelong disabilities caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. Losing such a case can have devastating results for an individual.

Talking to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney ASAP

Medical malpractice claims often have a strict statute of limitations. Failure to file by this specific deadline can leave your medical malpractice claim dead in the water. Some jurisdictions give a little leeway about filing claims after the medical malpractice injury is discovered, which could be weeks, months, or even years later. Others require you to file almost immediately after the negligent act is committed. Talking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible ensures you’re compliant with the statute of limitations and other pre-lawsuit criteria, such as obtaining medical expert affidavits, giving the notice of intent to file the suit, and more.

Notifying Healthcare Providers & Obtaining Medical Records

Although it is not customary to notify a healthcare provider and their insurance company that you intend to file a medical malpractice claim against them, sometimes it can be beneficial to explore settlement before filing suit. This is why hiring an experienced attorney is in your best interest. Your attorney will interact with their claims adjuster with the intent of getting you the fairest settlement amount possible and skillfully negotiating on your behalf to do so. Prior to exploring settlement options, it will be necessary for you to obtain copies of your medical records or sign a release allowing your attorney access to these. You’ll want to get these in front of your attorney as quickly as possible to give them more time to analyze your case and seek opinions from qualified medical experts who may serve as witnesses and establish a plan of action.

Complying with Pre-Suit Requirements & Filing Your Complaint

Pre-suit requirements for medical malpractice claims can weed out frivolous cases and encourage out-of-court settlements without litigation. Not complying with these requirements could result in the dismissal of your claim. You must draft and file your complaint formally in civil court. Your complaint should clearly state the allegations you have against the healthcare provider. Once your complaint has been filed, the case may move forward with a period of discovery in which both parties gather evidence and prepare for trial. Trials are not always expedient, as they are often rescheduled due to delays or the court’s schedule. In some cases, mediation and negotiation allow for a settlement outside of court.

Determining Your Medical Malpractice Claim Eligibility

Your attorney should be able to determine if you have enough evidence of medical negligence to file a case, so that you don’t waste valuable time and money in the pursuit of an unobtainable outcome. Remember, in a medical malpractice suit, you must show that medical negligence on the part of the healthcare provider directly lead to your injury or suffering. Liability is established by examining the reasonable medical standard of care the healthcare provider should have been compliant with when treating you and by demonstrating how they fell short of practicing those standards. It is not merely based on you experiencing less-than-desirable results after your medical treatment.

Achieving Some of New York’s Largest Settlements for 50+ Years

Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York-based law firm concentrating on personal injury and medical malpractice cases. In addition to helping clients achieve some of the largest verdicts and settlements in our state’s history throughout the past 50 years, we’re also dedicated to creating proactive patients. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about how you can be proactive about your family’s healthcare.