Steps to Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Cleveland, Ohio
Some people are reluctant to file a medical malpractice lawsuit because they feel that people sue over everything these days. If you suffered a catastrophic injury, infection, disfigurement, or amputation as a result of a medical mistake, however, you should not hesitate to pursue compensation for your losses. If you don’t, you will be held responsible for all medical expenses you incur. Plus, you may put other innocent patients in jeopardy.
If you decide to file a claim, you will need to find a medical malpractice attorney to handle your case. Rather than relying solely on Google, do some research. Check with your local bar association or ask friends and family members for referrals. Make sure the person you choose has experience handling your type of injury and that he or she has experience going to court, in case your claim goes to trial.
It is important that you provide your lawyer with paperwork, such as:
- medical records;
- hospital bills;
- the doctor’s contact information; and
- documents that prove your earnings.
In order for a medical malpractice claim to go forward, you need to have certain facts in place. First, you need to prove that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the physician and that the physician breached his or her duty to provide you with an acceptable standard of care. This means that the doctor did not handle your health care in a way that most reasonably competent physicians would.
Next, you need to prove that the injury, infection, or disfigurement that prompted your claim was the direct result of the doctor’s failure to provide you with an acceptable standard of care. With the help of expert witnesses, a malpractice lawyer can show within a reasonable likelihood that the doctor’s actions caused your health problem.
Obtaining the documentation involved in proving your case and getting expert witnesses to testify can draw out a case. Oftentimes, the insurance company, hoping to avoid the time, paperwork, and expense of a trial, will offer the claimant a settlement. Sometimes, these settlements can be generous, but other times, they may not be a fair amount. An attorney can help you obtain the best settlement possible.