When a patient receives substandard care in a medical setting and experiences complications as a result, the provider is often to blame. In certain scenarios, though, the health care facility may also be liable. Filing a claim against a hospital is more complicated than suing individual providers, but with the right personal injury attorney, you can navigate the claims process with ease. Below, the legal team at The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL, shares a few essential steps to take when suing a hospital for malpractice.
How to Build a Malpractice Claim Against a Hospital
1. Contact an Attorney
Accident victims have strict deadlines for bringing formal suits. These deadlines are called statutes of limitations. If these deadlines pass before you file a claim, the court will dismiss the case. Alabama, Georgia, and Florida all have the same statute for medical malpractice cases, which is two years. However, there are exceptions—and some of the evidence may be time-sensitive—so call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
2. Gather Medical Records
As soon as you suspect medical malpractice has occurred, obtain copies of all relevant medical records. You do not want to give the health care facility a chance to alter or destroy any documents that might prove their liability.
3. Document the Damages
Photograph all physical wounds or incision sites. Write daily journal entries about how any internal injuries or illnesses are affecting everyday life. Also, you should track all expenses associated with treating the complications that have arisen, including additional hospital bills, prescription medication costs, physical therapy fees, and lost income due to missed work.
4. Determine How the Hospital Was Liable
It is ultimately up to your personal injury lawyer to determine liability based on the evidence, but you can help by sharing everything you remember about the circumstances. In general, health care facilities are only liable for medical malpractice if the administrators were negligent in some way. For example, they might have failed to conduct adequate background checks on their providers or schedule enough staff to meet the needs of their patients.
5. Follow All Medical Advice
Follow the new doctor’s guidelines as you recover from any complications that the old provider caused. For example, don’t return to work against medical advice or skip physical therapy sessions; doing so could ultimately impede your recovery—and give the opposing party a chance to argue that you are at least partially responsible for the severity of the damages.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice and want to sue the facility where you received substandard care, turn to a personal injury attorney at The Gil Law Firm. They resolve cases for clients in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. In addition to personal injury law, Rafael Gil III’s areas of expertise include bankruptcy law and Social Security disability. Learn more about their success by visiting their website or calling (334) 673-0100.