If you have been injured or you are suffering a stagnant or worsened condition as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, you are entitled to file a medical malpractice claim. Below is an outline of what you can expect from the medical malpractice claim process.
Hire a Lawyer
After you have sought corrective medical care for your issue, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your damages. Although you can pursue a medical malpractice claim on your own, it is not recommended that you do so.
Obtain Evidence and Review Records
One of the reasons why it is best to work with a lawyer is because a lawyer knows how to obtain the evidence you need and review any relevant records to find and use critical information about your case. He or she can work with expert witnesses to obtain testimonies and make use of the evidence you provide, such as your medical history and your photographs of the injury, to create a comprehensive body of evidence for your claim.
Attempt to Settle the Case without Filing a Claim
Often, lawyers try to settle cases without filing claims on behalf of their clients. Your lawyer may do this and attempt to settle the claim with your healthcare provider, securing compensation for you.
File the Claim
If your lawyer cannot resolve your case through negotiation, he or she then files a medical malpractice claim with the healthcare provider’s malpractice insurance provider. This must be done within two years of your discovery of your injury.
The Discovery Process
After the claim is filed, the discovery process begins. This is the process of investigating the case completely, which can include interrogations of parties involved to determine their legal claims and defenses. Witnesses may be asked to complete depositions, which are interviews conducted under oath to produce evidence that can be used to support a claim in court.
The discovery process can be lengthy and take a year or longer.
Attempt to Negotiate a Settlement
Again, your lawyer will attempt to settle your case without taking it to court to be decided by a judge. Sometimes, your lawyer and your healthcare provider’s lawyer can reach a fair settlement together and in other cases, mediation is required. Mediation is the meeting of two parties with a neutral third party to engage in a guided discussion to reach a fair settlement.
If no settlement is reached through negotiation or mediation, your case will go to trial. In court, a judge and jury will examine all evidence produced and determine, based on the evidence and testimonies from both parties involved, a fair settlement for the victim. Sometimes, the court determines that the victim is not entitled to a settlement at all. Talk to your lawyer about your chance of receiving a favorable settlement before your case goes to court.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you are suffering as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, consider working with one of the members of our team of medical malpractice lawyers at Baizer Kolar, P.C. Contact our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation.