Being a victim of medical malpractice can take a tremendous toll on many areas of your life, with some consequences being permanent. Perhaps you are left with injuries that cause you great pain and suffering, or you are unable to work.
You may know that you have the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit but have many questions about the process.
While the exact requirements might be slightly different depending on if you are in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C., medical malpractice cases everywhere usually follow the same general process.
After you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, the discovery process begins. This involves you and the other side requesting information and documents from each other.
Discovery can also include depositions, which is where you and the other side agree to answer questions from each other about the situation while under oath.
One of the main purposes of discovery is to learn what information the other side has, to see the strengths and weaknesses of their case.
Settle or trial
Your case will then either settle, which means you and the other side come to an agreement about how to resolve the case. Ideally, this involves a payment to you for your damages.
If you cannot agree, your case will go to trial, where a judge will determine if you should be awarded any damages, and how much. The party who loses at trial can appeal if they want.
To prevail in your medical malpractice lawsuit and recover compensation, you will need to prove that your doctor or health care provider owed you a duty to perform their work according to a certain standard of care and they breached that duty.
You then need to prove that the breach is what caused your injury, and that you suffered damages. Your damages can be physical, financial, emotional or a combination of all 3.
While you may now have an idea of how the medical malpractice lawsuit process works, proving the malpractice usually requires the knowledge and experience of a medical malpractice attorney.