People often wonder what is involved in the building and completion of a medical malpractice case. Below is a general list of the various steps that take a case from inception to conclusion.
Initially, after you believe your loved one has suffered from a medical mistake, you should contact a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer. They will want to review medical records, health summaries, hospital notes, lab results, and all other necessary paperwork to fully understand the actions (and sometimes inactions) of the health care staff who may have been responsible for the medical mistake.
Once your Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney has determined that medical negligence likely caused your loved one’s injuries, they will connect with a proper expert. The expert must be in the same field of medicine as the healthcare professional who harmed your loved one. For instance, if your loved one’s injuries occurred during gastrointestinal surgery, your medical malpractice attorney will likely discuss the case with an expert who is a gastrointestinal surgeon.
Assuming the expert described above agrees that a medical error took place and caused your loved one’s injuries, the expert will prepare a Certificate of Merit. Your Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney will file a Complaint along with the Certificate of Merit in the court. And thus begins your formal lawsuit against the defendants.
Your medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia and the defendants’ attorney will then engage in “discovery.” Discovery is a process by which information is exchanged between both sides. Your attorney will want to see all the medical records, staff notes, entry forms, etc. that help paint a picture of the defendants’ actions and inactions that led to your loved one’s injuries. The defendants’ attorney will want to see any records that establish your loved one’s injuries, like physical therapy records, disability reports, etc.
After (and sometimes while) paperwork is exchanged, the attorneys will conduct depositions. Depositions are recorded interviews of important witnesses who are under oath. Many different individuals may be deposed such as, treating doctors, nurses, hospital staff, hospital administrators, and family members of the injured person.
The next stage is to go to trial and present the case to a jury or judge. At this stage, many of the same people who were deposed will be asked to testify. The experts your medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia hired will have to testify as well as the experts hired by the defendants’ attorney.
Sometimes the parties will settle the case before it gets to the trial stage. And sometimes a case will settle during the trial. But if the case did not settle before or during the trial, then the trial results in a verdict determining whether the defendants were in fact liable for your loved one’s injuries.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Pennsylvania will help you win your medical malpractice case. Find one at VSCP Law.
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