If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you should begin your quest for medical negligence compensation by contacting an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice law. After talking with the attorney or perhaps more than one attorney, you can begin to build your case in preparation for beginning medical negligence litigation. During this time, you will help your attorney by providing documents and information that can help establish the legitimacy of your medical negligence compensation lawsuit. In some cases, your case may be strong enough that you do not have to go to trial and you can receive a medical negligence settlement. In some cases, however, you may have to take your case to court in order to receive the compensation you believe you deserve.
Gather your medical records and write down the reasons why you believe you are the victim of medical negligence. If you are suffering ongoing symptoms, it may be a good idea to keep a journal of the symptoms until you can speak to an attorney. Ask friends and family if they can refer you to an attorney who is experienced and successful at obtaining medical negligence compensation for his clients. You may also want to contact your local Bar Association or other professional lawyers groups for referrals. When you go to your appointment, bring with you your documentation, including medical records and your journal of symptoms, which may be useful in helping the attorney decide what sort of compensation to ask for and whether your case is viable.
Your attorney may ask you to undergo additional physical examinations and testing to determine the extent of damage caused by the medical negligence. Information gleaned from these examinations and tests will become part of your case. Your lawyer typically will then contact the legal advocates of the hospital or medical professional from whom you are seeking medical negligence compensation. At this point, any number of things could happen. You may be offered a settlement, though it is a good idea to speak to your lawyer as to whether taking the settlement is in your best interest. Your lawyer may need to engage in more negotiations, and you may be asked to sit for deposition, in which you are questioned by your health care provider's attorneys as to your current medical condition.
In cases where your former health care provider is unwilling to provide appropriate medical negligence compensation, your lawyer may have to take your case to court. If you go to court, either a judge or a jury will hear your case and may decide in favor of your former health care provider or in your favor. In such cases, you may receive the compensation you desire, though a judge or jury may award more or less than you request. Once the judgment is rendered, your former health care provider's legal team may decide to appeal your case. If that happens, your lawyer may recommend that you take a settlement in the case, which will provide you with some compensation but allow you to get on with your life no longer encumbered by legal matters.