Have you been wronged by a medical professional and suffered harm as a result? If so, then you might be ready to take legal action. But navigating the legal system can be complicated, and one seemingly minor misstep can lead to devastating consequences for your claim. Therefore, you need to know how to competently build your claim in a compelling way and in a way that abides by applicable statutes. Keep in mind, too, that you have a limited amount of time to file your claim, so time is of the essence.
So, what do you need to do to bring forth a strong medical malpractice claim? Each of the following steps are imperative:
- Submit a notice of intent to file: In South Carolina, you can’t just proceed with a medical malpractice claim from the get-go. Instead, you have to inform the defendants of your intent to take legal action, laying out the justifications for your medical malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, this notice of intent to file must include an affidavit from a medical expert, indicating that there is merit to your claim. Therefore, you’ll need to put some work in on the front end to ensure that you’ve been evaluated by a competent medical professional who can attest that you’ve been harmed by medical negligence.
- Adhere to mandatory alternative dispute resolution: Once you’ve filed your notice of intent, then you’re going to have to proceed with mediation or arbitration as a way to try to resolve the matter without the need for litigation. Before heading into these settlement negotiations, you need to be armed with information and strong justifications for your position. After all, you’re going to have to convince the other side to move closer to your position if the parties hope to reach a favorable resolution.
- Talk to witnesses: This might sound like a no-brainer, but before even heading into mediation or arbitration, you should have thorough conversations with witnesses who may be able to support your position. These can be medical professionals at the hospital where you were hurt, or they could be individuals who can testify as to the extent of your damages. Either way, you should take notes during these conversations so that you can clearly remember what each witness said and have a record of their contact information in case you need them to testify in court. Don’t forget, too, that you’ll probably need expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. So, think about who can best speak to not just your medical condition, your prognosis, and your need for future treatment, but also to the practices that were implemented at the time of your accident and whether those practices lived up to the applicable standard of care.
- Secure records: Your medical records can be key to demonstrating medical malpractice and proving the extent of your injuries, so make sure that you’re seeking all follow up medical treatment that you may need. Your employment records can help prove damages, too, so make sure that you’re retaining your pay stubs.
Fight to hold negligent medical professionals accountable
There’s simply too much on the line after a medical mishap to let a negligent medical professional off the hook. Your physical and emotional wellbeing may be damaged, and the financial ramifications of the incident may be devastating. But you don’t have to just sit back and accept this reality. Instead, you can work closely with a legal team that knows how to build persuasive medical malpractice claims. Hopefully then you can position yourself to successfully impose liability and recover the compensation that you need and deserve.