Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Once you have found a suitable attorney who has considered the facts and decided that you have a strong claim they will file suit and begin the legal process. Both sides of the claim will disclose and share information with one another, and it is after this stage that a settlement can be made. If the parties are unable to reach an acceptable settlement, the case will go to trial. Unless and until both parties can agree this, most attorneys prefer to treat each case as though they will result in a full jury trial. As a result, there will be a considerable amount of documents to compile, reports to obtain and expert witnesses to instruct and consult with.

Medical Records and Expert Witness

To begin with, your attorney will need your medical records and an expert's opinion on the circumstances of your case. Although specifics vary from state to state, most jurisdictions have a strict protocol that must be followed in terms of pre-trial procedure. This is the case even if there is a strong likelihood that the claim will settle outside court, because it is vitally important to get as much evidence together as possible to reach an adequate and proportionate figure by way of damages. This work must be completed regardless of whether your case goes before a jury or not.

Filing Fees

Some states require the plaintiff themselves to pay for the up-front costs of getting disclosure of their medical records and instructing medical experts to provide opinions on the case. It's important to discuss payment for these provisions with your lawyer during your first meeting.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

It is also true that in some states you may be required to go through a process of arbitration or mediation in an effort to try to resolve the case before you go to court. This type of hearing is more informal than a jury trial, and may be a matter of sitting around a table in a meeting room, to a hearing in a courtroom that is chaired by an arbitrator rather than a judge. The reason for this is to try to limit the costs of medical malpractice claims, which can be very lengthy and incredibly expensive. Some cases are settled during this stage, but for many others this process may not be so fruitful. In any event, an attorney experienced in medical malpractice law will be able to tell you what to expect given the specifics of your case.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a medical professional, you can request a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer near you to discuss your case.

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