The Process of Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

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Filing a medical malpractice claim can be a complex and daunting process. If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical negligence in North Texas, understanding the steps involved can help you navigate this challenging journey. At The Law Office of David M. Kennedy, we specialize in personal injury cases, including medical malpractice – which includes nursing home abuse and neglect – providing expert legal representation to clients in Sherman and the greater North Texas region. Here, we outline the essential steps in filing a medical malpractice claim.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the standard of care, causing harm to a patient. This can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, monitoring, or health management. Common examples include surgical errors, medication mistakes, misdiagnoses, and failure to treat. To successfully file a claim, you must prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence directly resulted in injury or harm.

Step 1: Seek Medical Attention

The first and most crucial step is to ensure your immediate health and safety. If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, seek medical attention from another healthcare provider. This step is vital not only for your well-being but also for documenting the extent of your injuries, which will be critical for your claim. But, seek only healthcare, not an ally for your potential lawsuit. Subsequent healthcare providers often shy away from treating a victim of malpractice, so do not discuss your complaints of prior neglect any more than necessary to provide historical information.

Step 2: Let Your Lawyer Gather Documentation

Thorough documentation is key to a successful medical malpractice claim. At the proper time, your attorney will collect all relevant healthcare records, including:

  • Treatment records
  • Medical bills
  • Prescription records
  • Test results
  • Correspondence with healthcare providers

What you can do is keep a detailed journal of your symptoms, treatments, and any communication with medical professionals. This information will help you recall and establish the timeline of the malpractice and how it has affected you, and can assist the attorney in evaluating and establishing your claims. Additionally, any billing records need to be maintained because they are a good source for the attorney to determine where relevant records might be available.

Step 3: Consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Navigating a medical malpractice claim can be complex and requires specialized legal knowledge. Consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney like David M. Kennedy, can provide invaluable guidance. An attorney will evaluate your case, help determine if malpractice occurred, and advise you on the best course of action. Due to hurdles placed by legislation that make bringing a medical malpractice suit very difficult, you should get your attorney involved at the earliest opportunity.

Step 4: Obtain a Medical Expert Opinion

In Texas, a medical malpractice claim must be supported by an expert opinion from a qualified medical professional. This expert will review your case and provide a written report indicating whether negligence occurred. David M. Kennedy will find a suitable expert and ensure their report meets Texas legal requirements, and if there are grounds for bringing a suit, will then advise you accordingly. Do not seek out an expert, but let the firm do that for you.

Step 5: File the Claim

Once you have the necessary documentation and expert opinion, David M. Kennedy will file a claim on your behalf – if the neglect has caused you damages significant enough to justify the filing of a lawsuit. This involves submitting a complaint to the appropriate court, detailing the allegations of malpractice and the damages you are seeking. In Texas, you typically have two years from the date of the malpractice to file your lawsuit and have the defendant served with process. But, there is so much that has to be done in order to bring a medical malpractice case, time is always of the essence.

Step 6: Discovery Phase

After the claim is filed, both parties enter the discovery phase. During this stage, each side investigates the other’s legal claims and defenses. This can involve:

  • Depositions: Sworn statements taken from involved parties and witnesses.
  • Interrogatories: Written questions that require written answers.
  • Requests for Documents: Formal requests to obtain specific documents relevant to the case.

The discovery phase is critical for building a strong case, as it uncovers key evidence that supports your claim and helps prove what took place that caused you harm. This is managed by the attorney, requiring your assistance as directed.

Step 7: Negotiation and Settlement

Very few medical malpractice cases are settled out of court since these cases are difficult to prove and the defense always has experts ready to testify – even when there is clear malpractice. However, during the negotiation phase, your attorney will work to reach a fair settlement with the healthcare provider’s insurance company. Settling out of court can save time, reduce legal expenses, and provide a guaranteed compensation amount. However, your attorney will ensure that any settlement offer is fair and just, considering the extent of your injuries and losses, and the decision will always be yours.

Step 8: Trial

If a settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both sides present their evidence and arguments before a judge or jury. David M. Kennedy will advocate on your behalf, presenting compelling evidence to prove that medical negligence occurred and resulted in your injuries. Trials can be lengthy and complex, but a skilled attorney will guide you through the process and work to achieve the best possible outcome.

Step 9: Verdict and Compensation

If a judgment is obtained in your favor, you should be awarded compensation for your damages. This can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Other related costs

The amount awarded will depend on the specifics of your case and the severity of your injuries.

Conclusion

Filing a medical malpractice claim involves numerous steps and requires a thorough understanding of the legal process. At The Law Office of David M. Kennedy, we are committed to helping victims of medical negligence/nursing home abuse and neglect in Sherman and North Texas secure the compensation they deserve. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, contact us today for a free consultation. You will speak directly with David M. Kennedy, and he will guide you through the process and fight for your rights every step of the way. However, the investigation and evaluation of these cases are detailed and time-consuming, so please act as soon as you believe there was neglect.

Navigating a medical malpractice claim can be challenging, but with the right legal support, you can achieve justice and hold negligent healthcare providers accountable. For more information on the process of filing a medical malpractice claim, or to schedule an appointment, please Contact Us or call our Sherman, Texas office.

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David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy has over 30 years experience representing individuals and businesses in matters of civil litigation, especially personal injury and wrongful death. He is licensed in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

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320 N. Travis St., Suite 207
Sherman, TX 75090

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Contact Us

Call Us 903-819-0720

Law Office of David M. Kennedy, P.C.

320 N. Travis St., Suite 207
Sherman, TX 75090

Email: Click Here

Map and Directions

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