How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
Although it may be your first instinct to hurry up and file a medical malpractice claim directly after a resulting injury from your provider, there are a few steps to take to make sure you have a viable case before filing a claim.
CONTACT THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL INVOLVED IN YOUR INJURY
Communicating with your doctor before filing a claim can make the process of correcting your injury significantly simpler for both the medical professional and you. This step allows for you to understand what might have gone wrong that would have resulted in your injury. If it is determined that the injury can be remedied, most medical providers will offer to provide a solution to correct the injury.
CONTACT THE MEDICAL LICENSING BOARD
In situations where discussing your issue with your medical provider does not result in a solution for your injury, proceed to contact the affiliated medical licensing board. The licensing board generally will not order your doctor to compensate you, but they can issue disciplinary action toward the practitioner and can help guide you in regard to the next steps to take regarding the claim.
If completing the above steps did not provide you a solution or compensation for your injury, it may be time to proceed with determining if you are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. The next step would be to determine the requirements of the statute of limitations and the certificate of merit in your state regarding medical malpractice claims.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Every state has different guidelines for the statute of limitations for specific civil claims. The “statute of limitations” is the amount of time you have from the occurrence of the incident to when your claim must be filed in order for it to be valid. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is 2 years from the date that the victim discovered the injury.
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
More and more states are requiring a “certificate of merit” to certify that the injury sustained was directly resulting from negligence committed by your medical professional. In Illinois, filing this “certificate of merit” is required before proceeding to file your medical malpractice claim. Filing the certificate first requires you to contact an expert that will review your medical records. The expert will then have to confirm that your provider deviated from the standard of care expected, which would have resulted in your injury.
Once the injury due to negligence is verified your lawyer can then file the certificate of merit which acts as a confirmation that you have communicated with a medical expert which provides merit to filing a claim.
Our lawyers here at WHITESIDE & GOLDBERG, LTD., are here to help you through this process. CONTACT US today if you have experienced negligence resulting in injury from your health care provider and we will get you the help you deserve.
Medical malpractice claims have meet the three following requirements in order to be sufficient:
1. A VIOLATION OF THE STANDARD OF CARE
There are certain standards that have to be met in the medical field. These standards are recognized and accepted by health care professionals. Any patient should generally expect this standard of care to be met. If the patient believes that they received service that did not meet the standard, negligence may be established.
2. NEGLIGENCE RESULTING IN INJURY
Negligence by itself, from violating the standard of care, is not enough to validate a medical malpractice claim. The patient must be able to firmly prove that the accident or injury was solely caused by the negligence exhibited. If the injury could have occurred despite negligence, then it could have simply been an unfavorable outcome. In order to form a case, the injury that ensued has to be a direct cause of negligence. If the injury was not directly caused by negligence, a medical malpractice claim cannot be made.
3. SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE INJURY
Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely costly. Thus, in order for a case to be viable the patient has to show that the injury resulted in significant damage. “Significant damage” could include a disability resulting from the injury, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills.
TO FILE, OR NOT
If all of the above criterion has been met, you could very well be qualified to file a medical malpractice claim. However, proceeding with the claim can be very time consuming and expensive. Many cases end up simply being settled out of court for this reason. Additionally, most medical malpractice insurance companies often reject a lot of the claims filed. Thus, it may be better to take a second to determine if you and your lawyer believe your case is strong enough to uphold in court and attempt to attain a larger settlement, or if you should simply try for a cheaper and faster out-of-court settlement.
WHITESIDE & GOLDBERG, LTD.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. has successfully worked on numerous Illinois medical malpractice cases. They know that there are many tricky scenarios that can lead to a medical malpractice case. You can get a sense of your legal position by taking advantage of their free consultation. Your current finances should not deter you from seeking help.
WG Law Group does not charge you a cent until they have secured a settlement for you. For more information, contact them by calling 312-334-6875
for the WG Law Group Michigan Avenue location or at 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office. Call today to begin your journey to fair compensation.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney- client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.