West Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney
Brief list of the steps to file a malpractice lawsuit:
Medical malpractice is the failure of a medical professional or a medical facility to meet the standards of good medical practice in its specialization. A medical professional may be a doctor, nurse, medical technician, dentist, optometrist, or other health care provider. A medical facility may be a hospital, nursing home, medical testing facility, or clinic. If a provider fails to meet the standard of good medical practice and results in harm to a patient, the medical professional or facility may be liable for any resulting damages. Examples of medical malpractice include:
Failure to Diagnose Cancer
One of the leading types of medical malpractice cases involves the failure to diagnose cancer. Too often, doctors fail to order the right tests or mistake the signs of cancer for another disease. Timing is everything when it comes to the survival rate cancer, so major mistakes like these can often result in death. If you suspect a loved one’s cancer should have been caught earlier, contact Jacobs Law Office for a free case evaluation.
Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy
As high as 80% of all childbirths end up in some form of complication. Many parents are unaware of the mistakes during birth that can permanently disable or even kill their child. Negligence made during delivery are often overlooked. One common subject of litigation is the childhood disease, Cerebral Palsy (CP). The cause of CP has been linked to accidents during childbirth that result in brain damage, such as lack of oxygen or excessive force. Cerebral Palsy is characterized by a lack of muscle control and body movement.
Medical mistakes injure and kill nearly 100,000 people each year!
That’s even more people than those injured in car accidents annually. Some examples of medical malpractice include emergency room negligence, mistakes made during major surgery, and failure or delays in diagnosing cancer or other medical problems. If you feel a doctor or hospital may have played a part in a traumatic illness or death, it is crucial to find out what happened.
In 1990, Harvard School of Public Health estimated that each year, over 3% of patients in New York state hospitals suffered from some form of a medical mistake that resulted in a severe injury. The Harvard Medical Practice Study found that more than 180,000 people died yearly because of medical errors. The consumer rights group, Public Citizen, estimated that each year, 1.3 million medical injuries are caused by negligence and that more than two-thirds of these injuries are preventable.
These numbers are overwhelming and preventable! However, cases like these surface every day. It is essential to file a medical malpractice suit as soon as possible.
To do so, we recommend the following steps:
1.) Take part in the initial new client interview. This will help your medical malpractice attorney get the facts of your case. They will also have you sign documents so they can request your medical records. This meeting is necessary for your attorney to review the facts of your case, determine how strong your case is, and what information is still needed.
2.) Send documentation requesting medical records from providers. This step can sometimes take some time if you are still getting treatment for your injury. As your records come in, additional records may need to be requested.
3.) Your medical malpractice attorney will review your medical records once they are received.
4.) Your attorney will hire an independent medical expert to review your medical records after all records are received.
5.) The medical expert can help to determine if there was malpractice involved in your situation. Your medical malpractice lawyer will discuss your case with the medical expert.
6.) If the medical expert believes that there was malpractice involved in your case, your attorney will ask for a Certificate of Merit stating that there was malpractice.
7.) Your medical malpractice attorney will send the Certificate of Merit to the Defendant and give the Defendant 30 days to respond.
8.) If the Defendant does not want to settle, or the 30 days expires, then your attorney will file a lawsuit with the Court on your behalf.
Your attorney will then serve the Defendant with an official copy of the Complaint and Summons, which notifies the Defendant that a suit has been filed against them and that they have to respond to the suit by filing an Answer with the Court within a specific amount of time (usually 20 or 30 days).
9.) The timeline of your case depends on a number of factors such as when the Judge enters a Scheduling Order, which sets the important dates and deadlines in your case like the date of your Trial and how long it takes for both sides to investigate the case. This is known as the Discovery stage.
10.) During Discovery, both sides try to gather as much information as possible. This is usually done through Interrogations, where legal questions are asked, and through Depositions, allowing each side to ask their witnesses questions under oath. Discovery may also include medical tests and examinations. Your medical malpractice attorney will use all of this information to prepare your case for Trial.