No one wants to stay at a hospital – but – sometimes a hospital stay is unavoidable.
Usually, patients worry the least whether they receive the correct medical treatment or not – yet – there are instances where hospital patients report errors in their medical treatment – including negligence during their hospital stay.
If you or your friends and family were at the receiving end of medical negligence, you might wonder how to sue a healthcare provider or a hospital.
You might as well wonder about the possibility of suing a hospital.
Generally, it is possible to sue a hospital – however – it is not easy as some rules and regulations control a person’s ability to file a lawsuit against a doctor or a hospital, which is why it is crucial to discuss your case with a professional personal injury lawyer first so that you know what you are dealing with.
There is Cap on the Damage
You need to understand that there is a cap on your damage. Suppose you have an issue with a doctor, and the doctor made a mistake that made you suffer some type of damage or injury – the most you can get in damages against the medical provider outside of your medical bills is a limited and rather fixed amount.
Suppose you went to a doctor, and the mistake made you develop a chronic illness that, unfortunately, might last your entire life. In this case, you might have gone to another doctor and then another one and then had another surgery to fix that mistake of the first doctor.
All the subsequent medical bills that will pile up resulting from the mistake of the first doctor – there is no cap. You can get a professional lawyer by your side, such as the lawyers from Buckingham Barrera Vega, to get the due amount for whatever the surgery cost and all the following medical bills if you win against the first doctor.
However, your mental anguish and other damages that you incurred from the pain are kept to a fixed amount, which means that there is a cap on your damage – and the cap varies from one state to another.
You Need an Expert Report
To sue a hospital or a doctor, you need an expert report. And the expert report will be given to the doctor – the report must come from a qualified expert. In other words, you will need the expertise of another doctor to look into the matter and prepare a report for you.
The doctor will then give you a written report detailing how the first doctor or the hospital got it wrong. The doctor will provide details on where the hospital or medical healthcare provider committed a mistake and how they fell below the standards that are usually followed in the medical industry.
Simply put – you will have to find a doctor who will truthfully and with medical proof state that your first doctor or the hospital; staff tending to you at the time – made a mistake, and they will state in their report what they did and why it should be held liable.
Doctors are usually held to a high pedestal and regarded very highly by the public, and they usually have a lot of discretion when it comes to administering the kind of treatment that the doctors think is best for their patients.
Nonetheless, there is also an industry standard that most doctors follow. For instance, according to industry standards, doctors will conduct a pregnancy test on a woman before proceeding with any X-rays.
Getting back to the expert report – is one of the most crucial elements to provide at the time of suing a doctor or hospital. Depending on the state, you are required to provide the report within a timeline – usually 120 days.
Suppose you fail to provide an expert report in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a doctor or hospital for negligence. In that case, your lawsuit not only gets dismissed automatically – but the judge is likely to order you to pay the doctor’s lawyer’s fees.
Now certainly, this is something that you will want to avoid at all costs – the last thing you want to do is have the attorney’s fees add up to your problems. Not only have you been damaged by someone allegedly, but now you must also pay the lawyer’s fees.
It is important to mention here that expert reports aren’t cheap either. Ideally, you should try to find a practicing doctor who is an expert in the same field that your doctor practices who caused the personal injury.
Lawsuits Take Much Time
An important question you will want to ask yourself when you feel like you are ready to sue a doctor is whether you are willing to wait until the lawsuit is over.
Lawsuits take a long time to go to trial; some are won, and some settle after mediation. So, this is something that you will want to think about in terms of the time and cost it will take to see a doctor.
You will also want to consider whether you want a jury trial or a judge trial. Most of the time, it is recommended to take a jury trial. There are respective pros and cons for judge trials and jury trials – and depending on the kind of case you have, you should be favoring one over the other.
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Nonetheless, in the event of medical malpractice that results in personal injury, you want to have jurors of your peers. You want to have people who can sympathize with you and sympathize with the pain that you have experienced.
Usually, judges have seen so many cases that sometimes they can become desensitized, and they might not grant you the kind of damages you are seeking to collect. But with the jury – they can probably see your pain, and they can relate to having been to a doctor who is not very good and shoes negligent might have caused their situation to be worse.