Do I Need to Notify My Doctor When Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on April 14, 2021
Patients trust their physicians to provide them with a certain standard of care. If a medical professional fails to uphold his or her duty and harms a patient in the process, the injured patient has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her. Many patients wonder if they need to inform the at-fault professional if they intend to file these claims. The truth is that you should not tell your physician that you are filing a lawsuit against him or her—you should speak to an attorney first to determine your best course of action.
What Is a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare worker breaches the medical standard of care through a negligent act or omission. Simply put, if a medical professional commits an error or act that a similarly trained and reasonably competent professional would not have done under the same circumstances, he or she commits an act of malpractice. If you suffer an injury or worsening illness due to a breach of duty, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim.
Common types of medical malpractice include the following.
- Surgical errors and unnecessary surgery
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Failure to order proper diagnostic testing
- Birth injuries and improper prenatal monitoring
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
- Anesthesia administration errors
You may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against any healthcare professional who treats you in a formal capacity, including nurses, physicians, surgeons, and anesthesiologists. In Missouri, you will need to obtain an Affidavit of Qualified Health Care Provider before you can file this type of claim. This affidavit, which is completed by a third-party medical expert, analyzes the at-fault medical professional’s actions and attests that his or her conduct deviates from the accepted standard of care.
Do You Need to Inform a Doctor If You Intend to Sue?
If you intend to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a healthcare professional, you should not inform him or her about the lawsuit directly. Instead, you should contact a Missouri medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case. Your lawyer will contact the medical professional on your behalf, as well as file your claim in civil court. He or she will draft the necessary paperwork and arrange for someone to deliver the paperwork to the at-fault party.
After you consult with an attorney, he or she will conduct an investigation into your claim, analyze your damages, and draft a complaint letter and a summons to send to the medical professional. The complaint letter notifies the at-fault medical professional of the injuries you suffered, the compensation you seek, and the names of the parties you intend to hold liable. The summons requests that the medical professional responds to the complaint letter.
What to Do After Medical Malpractice
After you realize that your physician committed an act of malpractice, you may feel confused and unsure what to do next. However, it is important to remember that you have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions. You will need to take a few important steps to preserve evidence, protect your health, and seek help.
- Seek medical attention from another provider as soon as possible. While you are receiving treatment, save all records related to your follow-up care and the nature of your injury or illness.
- Obtain your medical records from the at-fault medical provider. You will likely need to complete a form at the medical office or hospital where you initially received treatment.
- Continue to receive medical attention and follow the instructions of your medical team. Each day, record details about your treatment, symptoms, and how the condition is impacting your life.
After you receive immediate medical treatment, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will conduct an in-depth investigation into your medical malpractice and help you understand your optimal path to recovery.