First Steps to Take in Medical Malpractice Case

Take the Right First Steps in a Medical Malpractice Case for Success

A Minot medical malpractice attorney guides you through the process

Sometimes the people you trust the most to help you can actually hurt you. Doctors and other medical professionals have the power to save your life, but they also have the power to end your life or significantly reduce the quality of your life with even a simple mistake. A surgeon could make a wrong move and cut an artery. A doctor could prescribe the wrong medication, which causes a stroke that permanently impairs your mobility. A nurse could administer the wrong dosage, causing you to fall into a coma.

Sometimes, the mistake and its consequences are obvious. Sometimes, it may take you months or even years to know that your doctor or another trusted medical professional made a mistake and to understand the effects it had. When you do realize that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is important that you take the right steps immediately so that you are able to get legal recompense. In North Dakota, you have six years from the incident that caused your injury to file a medical malpractice suit. The exception would be if you did not know about your injuries until years later; you would then likely still be allowed to file suit under the discovery rule, so long as you could prove that you did not discover the injury until recently.

The first thing you should do if you think that you are a victim of medical malpractice is to visit with a personal injury attorney who represents medical malpractice cases. Make sure you don’t go to a generic personal injury attorney whose primary experience is with auto accident cases. Medical malpractice cases are litigated differently, and you need an experienced lawyer who understands the law.

Your attorney will evaluate the details of your case and help you understand if you have a valid legal claim. Your attorney will need as many details as possible, so it is important that you gather up all your medical records, photos if applicable (such as of an infection you suffered or other symptoms), and any records you have kept of phone calls, notes about your illness or injury, visits, and more. Your attorney will use this information to understand the timeline of your case and the impact of your injuries, but your attorney may also use some of the information as evidence.

The next step will be to work with your attorney to hire a medical expert to evaluate the case. The expert will determine if medical malpractice is present and will testify to the extent to which you have been impacted, such as in the pain you suffered or the long-lasting impact to your health or mobility. To prove a medical malpractice claim, your attorney has to show not only that you were injured because of a decision that your doctor made, but also that another doctor in the same position would not have made that decision. People make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they are legally liable. Your attorney has to show that your doctor made a mistake that another person in the same situation would not have made.

Once the medical expert issues a “certificate of merit” for your case, your attorney will either attempt to negotiate a settlement on your behalf or will file a lawsuit in court. In most cases, your attorney will try to negotiate first to save you the time and expense of pursuing a lawsuit in court.

The Minot medical malpractice attorneys at the Larson Law Firm have litigated numerous medical malpractice cases in North Dakota, and fight for the compensation you deserve if you have been injured due to the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare worker. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting results, so contact us today at 701-484-4878 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online.