Although we expect that medical care will make us better, in some cases negligent treatment rendered by a healthcare professional can result in our medical condition not getting any better or even getting worse, or may result in suffering new injuries or health conditions. When this happens, a harmed patient may be entitled to recover compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should familiarize yourself with the first steps in beginning a medical malpractice suit.
Treating the Injuries or Health Conditions Inflicted by Malpractice
The first step in beginning a medical malpractice suit starts with treating the injuries or the medical condition that you have suffered because of another provider’s malpractice. Promptly beginning treatment will help preserve your right to recover compensation in a medical malpractice suit, as you can avoid claims that you have allowed your condition to worsen through delayed or deferred treatment.
Investigating the Alleged Negligent Treatment
A medical malpractice lawsuit will require a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances of the underlying negligent treatment. This includes reviewing copies of all your medical records from the treatment along with provider notes, as well as other potentially relevant evidence such as staffing records. Your attorney may also want to interview relevant witnesses to get oral testimony about the details of your treatment.
Consulting with Medical Experts
In New Jersey, most medical malpractice lawsuits require an injured patient to provide certification from a medical expert. The medical expert is usually another healthcare professional of similar training and specialty. For example, if you are bringing a medical malpractice claim against an orthopedic surgeon, you will want to retain another orthopedic surgeon as your medical expert. The expert will need to provide an opinion that explains what the relevant standard of care was in your treatment and how your provider’s conduct failed to comply with that standard.
Without an opinion from a medical expert, most medical malpractice lawsuits can be dismissed out of court.
Presenting Demands for Compensation to the Liable Parties and Insurers
Once you have secured evidence from your alleged negligent medical treatment and consulted with medical experts who can explain how your treatment failed to comply with the standard of care, you can present a formal demand for compensation to the negligent providers and their insurers. Presenting a demand begins the process of settlement negotiations, in which both parties try to reach a compensation amount that you would be willing to accept to settle your medical malpractice claim without the need to go to court in your case. Most medical malpractice claims are settled long before going to trial or even seeing the inside of a courtroom, as having a medical expert opinion can establish the validity or viability of your claim.
Filing Suit in Court
Of course, eventually, it will become necessary to file a lawsuit in your medical malpractice claim to continue pursuing your rights to compensation. Filing a suit in court involves drafting and filing a complaint, and then serving that complaint and a summons on the defendant or defendants in the case, who will have the opportunity to respond to your complaint in a pleading known as an answer.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Haddonfield medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Andres & Berger, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, and Winslow. Call us today at (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 264 Kings Hwy. E., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.