Even good physicians make mistakes. In fact, thousands of people every year suffer serious injuries or even die because of errors made by medical providers. For example, a woman named Stacey Galette suffered irreparable harm, including the loss of both legs below the knee, because her doctor did not follow the right standards. Her lawsuit against the hospital and doctors ended with a $62 million judgment in her favor. Other medical malpractice lawsuits have arisen over surgeons who operate on the wrong body part, laboratories that provide false findings, and medical staff who ignore signs of serious problems. When you have been injured by someone, even a doctor, there’s no shame in asking for money to help you recover.
You can sue your doctor under certain circumstances. But the process can be very complicated, so it’s important to understand how you go about preparing and filing a malpractice lawsuit.
As soon as you think you are a victim of medical malpractice, take the following two steps:
- Gather information, like medical records. You could also keep notes detailing your concerns about your doctor’s potentially negligent actions.
- Talk to a medical malpractice attorney. Your lawyer can discuss your options, including whether to sue your doctor or not.
You may need to move quickly to:
- Preserve evidence,
- Get the compensation you need for additional medical treatment, and
- File your lawsuit before the statute of limitations ends, which usually is based on state law.
Most of the time, you and your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the medical providers who harmed you. If not, you may have to move your battle to the courtroom.
Filing Your Lawsuit
The documents needed vary from state to state. In Michigan, you and your medical malpractice lawyer will prepare the following documents to get your medical malpractice lawsuit started:
- Notice of Intent to File. At least 182 days before actually filing your case with the court, you must notify every potential defendant in writing. There are some limited exceptions to this requirement.
- Complaint. This is usually the first document or pleading filed with the court. The plaintiff files the complaint, which states what the plaintiff wants from the defendant or defendants. The defendant(s) have a certain number of days to file a response to the complaint.
- Affidavit of Merit. An expert prepares this document for the plaintiff. The affidavit describes the standard of care and how the doctor or other medical provider breached that standard. Also, the expert connects the breach of care to the plaintiff’s injuries.
You may have to file other documents and usually will pay filing fees and costs. That’s where your medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Call if You Think You Might Need to Sue Your Doctor.
Being injured by someone you trusted to take care of you can be hard to handle. If you are interested in discussing a medical malpractice claim, be sure to call us for a free consultation.
At the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., our team of skilled lawyers and professionals provide sound and current legal representation that you need. Call us at 844-342-5353 to set up a free consultation or use the Contact Form on our website. There’s no fee for personal injury cases unless we win.