The first thing we must be clear about is that, to report medical malpractice, the law provides for a deadline. That is to say, you can not proceed with the complaint whenever you want. On the contrary, the deadlines for reporting medical malpractice are relatively short, ranging from one to five years, depending on the circumstances of the case.
The first recommended step would be to contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice cases are very technical procedures that require very high medical knowledge on the part of the lawyer, since, in the trial, what is going to be discussed is medicine with doctors (whether witnesses or experts), so, if the lawyer is not a specialist in processing medical malpractice cases with extensive experience, the matter will be doomed to failure. Unfortunately, every year dozens of cases previously processed by law firms not specialized in health law arrive at other law firms because they were dismissed due to the lack of knowledge of the lawyer.
The Medical History
The medical history is the key to the whole process. Therefore, it is a priority that all efforts are focused on obtaining a copy of it for later study by the lawyer and the medical expert. Although the law imposes the obligation to deliver all the medical history to the patient who requests it, the truth is that in some cases the medical centers refuse to deliver it totally or partially. In these cases, if you act on the advice of a lawyer who is an expert in health law, he may immediately initiate a procedure of preliminary proceedings so that these documents are obtained judicially.
The Medical Expert
Once the attorney has all the documentation, one of the key milestones arrives: its examination by a medical expert specialized in the branch of medicine on which to see the matter. The medical expert must carry out a thorough study of the documentation and issue a report in which three questions are answered:
- Is there harm?
- Can the existence of medical malpractice be proved?
- Is there a causal relationship between damage and medical malpractice?
If the answer to all three statements is positive, then the attorney will have the basis to report medical malpractice and be compensated.
The Judicial Process
There are up to three types of procedures, so a medical malpractice claim can be processed. They are as follows:
- Criminal procedure: when what is sought is compensation and the imposition of a penalty (imprisonment and professional disqualification).
- Administrative procedure: aimed at obtaining compensation for medical negligence that occurred in public health.
- Civil procedure: aimed at obtaining compensation in those medical negligence occurred both in private health and in public health.
Of the three, undoubtedly the most recommended, whenever possible, is the civil procedure, because:
- It is resolved in a shorter period of time.
- There are more chances of obtaining compensation.
- Compensation is usually higher.
Judgment and Indemnification
Once the procedure has been processed, it will only be necessary to wait for the sentence that, in the case of success, will mean that the victim of medical negligence (or his relatives in case he has died) will be compensated for the damages suffered. With all these things to consider, it is best to seek the legal assistance of a medical malpractice lawyer.