Stethoscope with a legal gavel

Do’s and Don’t’s of Medical Malpractice Claims

Most people trust doctors and medical professionals because we assume that they have the knowledge and the skill to help us and not cause us injuries. Unfortunately, there are times when medical professionals negligently or recklessly cause injuries to their patients. When this happens, those who have been injured have a right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice lawsuits can often be complicated and time-consuming. If you think you have a case, it would be prudent to contact an experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, the sooner the better. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. 

I May Have Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim, What Should I Do?

When medical procedures or care go wrong, it can be overwhelming to figure out exactly how to proceed. Here are some steps to take to make your case as strong as possible and set yourself up to obtain the best possible result. 

  • DO: Consult with an experienced attorney who has specialization in medical malpractice cases:  A veteran lawyer will be very familiar with the complex laws and regulations governing Illinois medical malpractice cases.
  • DO: Gather All relevant medical records and documents related to the injury: These include medical reports, test results, and treatment plans. They are the evidence you need to provide to establish a case of negligence against the healthcare professional.
  • DO: Find out what the statute of limitations is for bringing your action: In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the injury or from the date that you discovered your injury to file a medical malpractice claim. Missing the deadline could seriously affect your ability to recover any damages from the at-fault party. 
  • DO: Seek expert medical opinions: Expert medical witnesses can provide insights into the standard of care expected in your situation. Their statements can be pivotal in showing that the healthcare provider did not conform to accepted medical practices, leading to the alleged harm.
  • DO: Document damages and losses: These include medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. 

What Should I Avoid Doing if I think I have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you are in a situation where you think you have been injured due to medical malpractice, it can be difficult to know who and where to turn to for help. You will be dealing with an injury,  possible lost time at work, and medical bills coming daily.  You may also be grappling with navigating the insurance claim process. Here are some pointers on things you should not do in this situation. 

  • DON’T: Delay in Filing the Claim: The statute of limitations sets a strict timeline for filing, and any delay might result in the dismissal of your case. 
  • DON’T: Speak with anyone without consulting with an attorney: Don’t engage or communicate at length with any relevant healthcare provider or their insurance company without legal representation. Remember that anything you say or write could be used against by the opposing party. 
  • DON’T: Rely on the Internet to provide you with accurate information. It’s best to ask a qualified attorney for personalized advice based on the facts of your case.
  • DON’T: Think a trial is the only option to resolve your claim. Medical malpractice claims can be emotionally draining and time-consuming. Consider alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation or arbitration, before heading to court. ADR can be a quicker and less adversarial means of resolving disputes.

Contact a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney for a free consultation

Suffering injuries caused by serious medical negligence and wrongdoing can be devastating to individuals and their families. Dealing with injuries and the financial strain of medical bills can be a lot to bear.  It’s to your benefit to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side. Contact the attorneys of Stein and Shulman, LLC as soon as you are able for a consultation.