Few things are as distressing as entrusting your health and well-being to a healthcare provider only to experience unanticipated complications as a result. At times, these are negligible, resulting in a slight inconvenience that takes care of itself within a month. In other instances, it may be the cause of significant difficulty with extra medical bills, prolonged pain and suffering, and even enduring disability.
Complications in your care could result from negligence on the part of your healthcare provider. If it has, and you have experienced damages as a result, you likely have a malpractice case. To assess your case and pursue the compensation you deserve, contact Hart & David as soon as possible for the legal help you’ll need.
Malpractice is a very serious matter, and there are many obstacles that could prevent you from getting the compensation you need. For one, your case must legally qualify as malpractice, meaning it needs to be something more than a simple mistake. In order to qualify as malpractice, the following criteria must be met:
- There must have been a doctor-patient relationship
- There was an incidence of neglect, meaning the care provided failed to meet established medical standards
- That neglect caused you quantifiable harm, i.e. damages
If your case does not meet these criteria, it will not hold up in a court of law, nor will it have any weight in negotiations. Even if it does meet these qualifications, it will still have a difficult time securing you the compensation you need.
Challenges Facing Malpractice Claims
The challenges you and your lawyer will face in the course of filing a malpractice claim stem largely from the fact that you are opposing powerful entities with vast resources backing them. Foremost of these are insurance companies, who will usually handle the payout on the healthcare provider’s behalf—if the case is successful, that is.
In addition to the resources challenge, proving that a doctor was negligent can also be difficult. There are often multiple ways to treat an injury or illness, and a doctor’s own notes may not be all that helpful in determining whether a standard of care was violated. Usually, it requires consultation with medical experts to determine whether negligence occurred.
Even with that expert testimony, it will still be a challenge to prove to the judge and jury that negligence actually occurred. Lawyers often have to be creative to win a malpractice case, especially since juries tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt.
Getting Legal Help
If you have noticed a complication from your medical treatment, you must act quickly. The statute of limitations on malpractice claims is two years from when the problem was noticed (or should have been noticed). In addition, any claim made more than four years after the malpractice took place will be thrown out.
To complicate matters further, Illinois law requires that you file a certificate of merit prior to pressing charges. This certificate basically states that that there is reason to believe that malpractice occurred. The process of obtaining a certificate, filing your claim, and securing compensation is tightly bound by legal complexities throughout, so you need all the help you can get. To begin seeking compensation for malpractice, contact the lawyers at Hart & David today.