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What you should and shouldn’t do if you suspect medical malpractice

submitted by Jeffrey A. Krawitz, Esq., Stark & Stark, stark-stark.com

While the vast majority of medical procedures go smoothly, errors do occur and cause injury to patients. Surgery errors are the most common basis for an inpatient medical malpractice claim.

Errors in diagnosis are the most common basis for claims for outpatients.

If a person suspects medical malpractice due to an adverse outcome from a medical diagnosis or procedure, he or she may decide to reach out to the physician, medical care provider, or hospital for some explanation or recourse.

As a recent case illustrates, that may NOT be the best course of action to take.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are subject to strict filing time constraints, including time frames for notices of claim and statutes of limitations. These time constraints govern the amount of time an injured person has to file a claim.

They vary state by state and may depend on the type of facility involved, which means whether it is a private, public, or charitable institution.

The limitations period for filing a medical negligence lawsuit may be triggered by any contact with the potential defendants by the injured person or his or her representative.

While no one wants to file a medical negligence lawsuit if it is unwarranted, the underlying facts and merits of a lawsuit are not easily discerned.

It may be unwise to try to determine whether a lawsuit should be filed by contacting the potential defendant or defendants.

If you suspect that you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, consider speaking with an attorney as soon as possible. Also, it may be wise to refrain from:

  • Contacting potential defendants or their attorneys in writing, in person, or by phone, text, on the internet, or by email;
  • Entering into settlement negotiations, formal or informal;
  • Signing any document relating to the incident;
  • Posting on social media about the incident.
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