Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim Myself?

August 7, 2020
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim Myself?

If you received substandard care from a physician or medical practitioner and suffered an injury or complication as a result, you may have the right to take legal action against the provider or facility that was responsible. By filing a medical malpractice claim, you can pursue funds for all reasonable and necessary damages resulting from the negligence, which may include hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among others.

While you are certainly entitled to put together the case on your own and represent yourself over the course of the proceedings, doing so is not advised.  I once heard a judge compare it to a lay person trying to perform heart surgery.  Medical malpractice claims are inherently complex, and proving liability, causation, and damages is almost never straightforward.

What’s more, both healthcare institutions and individual providers generally have the resources to challenge every claim that comes their way. While there is no federal law mandating malpractice insurance, many states require physicians to purchase coverage. And those who practice in states where there is no such law usually buy insurance anyway to protect themselves. In other words, most doctors and clinics have an insurance provider that has a duty to defend them against malpractice claims.

Fortunately, you can level the playing field by hiring a seasoned personal injury attorney. A lawyer will be well-versed in the statutes, regulations, and procedural rules that might affect your case. A reputable firm will also have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation and collect the evidence needed to build the strongest case possible.

That’s not all an attorney will bring to the table, though. Your medical malpractice lawyer may also:

  • Consult relevant experts whose affidavit is usually required to file a case
  • Hire experts whose credentials, opinions, and deposition are required to prove your case;
  • Depose members of the medical team that treated you;
  • Track your damages;
  • Estimate a fair payout for your non-economic losses;
  • Handle all correspondence with the opposing party;
  • Negotiate for a settlement;
  • Prepare your case for litigation and trial if necessary; and
  • Prevent you from making critical mistakes along the way.

When Should I Call a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

It’s wise to call a lawyer as soon as you suspect you received substandard care. Unlike other kinds of torts, medical malpractice may not be apparent right away. Since a statute of limitations still applies, though, you should act as soon as you realize you may have grounds for a claim.

In South Carolina, the standard filing deadline for personal injury lawsuits is three years from when the cause of action was discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence for private entities and two years for public or government-affiliated entities. While the clock may not start from the date on which the incident occurred, it may have begun once you started experiencing complications.

Call 864-585-3873 to Discuss Your Case with a Greenville Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you think you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm for guidance. Our team has OVER 50 years of combined experience in legal practice. We also have the resources to go up against even the largest insurance carriers and healthcare institutions. Call 864-585-3873 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Greenville.

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