5 Steps to a Medical Malpractice SettlementIf you or a loved one have been affected by a medical mistake, you have rights. That is the first step in getting a medical malpractice settlement. Unfortunately, many make mistakes in personal injury lawsuits, such as accepting initial low offers or hiring no representation. This blog guide walks you through the key steps to getting a medical malpractice settlement.
Step 1, Understand Your Rights
Since you and your family have likely been put through some kind of nightmare, it's important not to downplay why it happened, who's responsible, and your rights to compensation. You put your trust in a medical professional or hospital, and they failed. Even minor mistakes such as a mistaken medication filing can have major consequences. All hospitals make mistakes at some point, but that does not mean you have no rights.
Step 2, Get a Lawyer
In medical malpractice cases, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial to winning. Yes, your lawyer has a fee, typically 25-35% of your final settlement. But remember, most only get paid if you win, giving them major incentive. And face it, do you really want to plead your case by yourself or with someone with years experience in law and personal injury? A lawyer ensures you get proper compensation for any damages, and that justice is served so you can move on.
Step 3, Be Clear on Mistakes
Initially, you want to be clear on what mistakes were made. The aforementioned mistaken prescription is a good example where proof is very clear. It can also be a botched operation by a doctor or the wrong diagnosis.
Step 4, Proving Liability
Liability in medical malpractice can be complicated. In many instances more than one person or entity can be held responsible and sued. The logical point is that, if someone more competent had been there, would the mistake have still been made? If an experienced doctor had taken your case, would he or she have made the same mistake? That's how liability is proven in a court of law.
Step 5, Settlement or Winning in Court
Few medical malpractice cases with obvious liability go to court. Hospitals and medical professionals will settle out of court for a number of reasons, namely saving lawyer fees and an embarrassing battle. Rarely will you have to go to court to get your money, but if your case is weak on paper, you may have to fight in court. In both of these, your lawyer is your counsel. Let him or her make key decisions so you can win.