When you think you have been injured by the wrongdoings of a hospital or doctor you may want to file a medical malpractice case. A lawyer on the other hand will carefully evaluate several aspects of the case to see if you have a possibility of a valid lawsuit pending.
First, the lawyer will ask you to come to his office and have a detailed conversation with you to find out exactly what went wrong. For the lawyer the most important questions are what were the things that you think were done wrong, and what injuries you suffered because of that.
Three Important Elements of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
These two questions contain three important elements that are important to the lawyer. The first is the wrongdoing, or the departure from known and accepted medical practice. The second element is what caused your injuries, which is known as causation. The third element is what injuries have you suffered.
If your lawyer feels after your first interview with him that you might have a concrete case, your lawyer will start the process of acquiring copies of your medical records. He will make you sign permission slips, which are called authorizations for acquiring your medical records. Your lawyer will then prepare a cover letter, and send it along with permission slips to the doctor’s office. The letter will mention that the lawyer is representing you in a medical malpractice case, and would like copies of your records. This process can take a few days, couple of weeks, or even longer.
Once your lawyer has received your medical records, he will go through each page thoroughly. He will do this to:
· Familiarize himself with what the doctor’s records show
· What were your complaints to the doctor
· What treatment was provided
· What notes were made by the doctor regarding the treatment
All this is important because it will give the lawyer an idea about what went on, from the doctor’s viewpoint.
Confirmation by a Medical Expert
In the next step, your lawyer will contact a medical expert of the specialty where there was possible wrongdoing. Your lawyer will then send all your medical records to this expert for evaluation. This evaluation by a medical expert is required by law, for you to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Only when the expert evaluates your records and confirms there was wrongdoing, the wrongdoing caused you injuries, and these injuries are significant is when you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the fine state of New York.
This is the key process of how a lawyer will evaluate your word and case if you have a genuine basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Hence, not only will your lawyer scrutinize your medical records, but also a medical expert. Your lawyer will first try to gauge the viability of your case based upon what you tell him and then he will further study your medical records. However, until a medical expert confirms that you have a legitimate and credit worthy case, your lawyer cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
On top of this, if your attorney does not have a medical expert backing your case they know it will probably be a poor use of their time to even pursue it. But if they do have a medical expert saying that this doctor, nurse, or hospital made some terrible mistakes, you now have a serious ally in your corner.