When you or your child is dealing with medical malpractice, often called physician negligence, your primary focus is trying to return to good health. Part of that often entails filing a lawsuit to help pay for medical bills and other expenses. Being part of a legal matter can be stressful, so here are a few things that should make your case go smoother.
Prepare for your first consultation
For the first meeting with your lawyer (or prospective lawyer), bring all documentation for your case, including medical records, photos, your journal of the events and copies of bills. Even bring your pay stubs to document the extent of your lost wages. The more information you have, the better equipped a lawyer is to make an accurate judgment about the merits of your case and its chances of success.
Understand you are in for a long haul
Many med mal cases take quite a while to resolve. You could be in for years, although hopefully, the case would see resolution within a few months. During this time, it is critical you continue to communicate openly with your lawyer. If you move or change phone numbers, send the new contact information as soon as possible.
It is also important to stay on top of any medical issues. For example, if a condition such as cerebral palsy worsens, document that, go to the doctor as soon as possible and tell your lawyer.
Statute of limitations
It helps your case go more smoothly if you can meet with a lawyer sooner rather than later. The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for medical malpractice is generally two years after you found out about the injury or as soon as you reasonably could (be careful about what you post on social media). Also, you have only seven years after the medical act to file.
In other words, if only a small part of you is considering a case, it is worth your while to meet with an attorney even if your mind has not been made up.