Medical malpractice is legally defined as occurring when a medical professional "misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a medical condition, provides incorrect or fails to provide treatment for an ailment in appropriate time, or makes mistakes while performing a medical procedure." Additionally, in some states, medical malpractice also includes failing to gain informed consent from the patient for treatment, or failing to provide adequate information about treatment that leads to harm.
When you consult an attorney about a medical malpractice case, you should ask the following questions to ensure that you and your attorney are clearly aware of all of the facts surrounding the case. Your questions should always be welcomed, because they provide the attorney additional insight into the case, the parties responsible, and the extent of your injuries. Our Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers also note that an experienced attorney will be able to determine if your healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care and negligence was a factor in your specific situation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Most people think that they cannot file a claim for medical malpractice because the event happened in the recent past. While every state has their statute of limitations, most allow about two years for you to file a claim after the event took place. Some states, such as New York, will allow up to 30 months for you to file a claim. Your attorney can tell you if your case falls within the guidelines of your state.
How Do I Determine Who is Responsible for My Injury?
Most clients are surprised when they discover that there can be many parties responsible for their injuries. The attorney will review your case, all your medical records, and your subsequent injury to determine who is responsible. In many personal injury cases there are several defendants named in the case.
Can I Get Medical Treatment for My Injury?
If your injury requires treatment, the attorney can arrange to have you evaluated and treated. In many cases, the attorney will want to have your injury examined by a separate medical professional to gain insight into the severity and nature of the injury.
What About My Bills?
Your medical bills from the event and any future care will become part of the case. Any bills you have already paid should be submitted to your attorney.
How Long Will the Case Take?
Your attorney should be able to give you a tentative timeline of how long your case will take. Depending on the seriousness of the injury and the number of defendants involved, your case could take between one and two years to process. Of course, this is not set in stone, and there are many factors which could lead it to process faster or take longer. It is very important that you realize each case is based on the individual and their injuries, so each case will proceed differently.
How Do I Pay For Representation?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. What this means is that they do not require any payment until the case is settled. Once the case is settled, they will take out their fees and associated costs from the settlement amount. This type of payment plan enables people from every economic background to receive quality legal representation when they are injured as a result of medical malpractice.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you should seek the legal advice of a professional personal injury attorney. The attorney will review your case and determine what types of compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, pain, suffering or other unfavorable outcome. Although financial compensation cannot take away your physical ailments, it can certainly help you resume your life as best as possible.
Nadine Swayne is a freelance writer who submits this article. At Bottar Leone, a group of Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers, they have the experience and are well-versed in the areas of medical malpractice cases, and they meet with hundreds of people each year to help them determine if they have been subjected to healthcare negligence.