What Should I Do If the Other Side’s Lawyer Calls Me?
When your physical wellbeing has been compromised because a medical professional who you trusted made a mistake, it is important to get the compensation you deserve. Your chances of success go up dramatically when you work with a qualified medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore. They can help you develop a winning legal strategy and advise you on how to handle communications with the other side’s lawyer.
What Should I Do If the Other Side’s Lawyer Calls Me?
If you are contacted by an attorney who represents the doctor or the hospital in a malpractice claim, consult with your lawyer before disclosing any information to them. Legally, you are not obligated to speak with them, sign any documents, or share any medical history in an informal context.
Your lawyer will keep you informed as to what information you need to disclose and which protocols you should follow. If you speak with the other lawyer before speaking with your own, you risk giving away statements that can be spun against you.
Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice is a complex area of personal injury law. The process of filing your claim will involve building evidence, getting a medical board review, and following specific legal protocols. Doctors and hospitals understand that the average person is not equipped to navigate this system alone, especially when they are recovering from an injury. Their lawyers often take advantage of the victims’ inexperience when fishing for evidence.
The Life Cycle of a Medical Malpractice Case
If you feel that one of your doctors made a mistake while treating you, the first thing to take care of is your health. Start seeing another doctor who can offer a second opinion, treat the original issue, and help you recover. It is very important to hire a medical malpractice attorney early in the process. He or she can clarify the legal actions you need to take.
Oftentimes, people who have experienced medical malpractice send a demand letter to the doctor who was at fault. If the doctor agrees to the demands in the letter, you can resolve the issue without filing a claim. If not, you will need to get a medical board to review your case and issue a Notice of the Right to Sue. Once that is secured, you can seek a settlement outside of court or go to trial if necessary.
Tactics Used by the Defense
The payouts from medical malpractice claims can be large, making liable parties all the more likely to push back. If the defendant’s lawyer contacts you, it is important to remember that their objective is to cast doubt on your injury or downplay the role your doctor had in causing it. You should not speak with them, because doing so could inadvertently help them build evidence against you. Their tactics may include, but are not limited to:
Rejecting the Plaintiff’s Expert
As the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case, you are required to provide expert medical testimony to support your claim. The defense may try to discredit your expert by showing that he or she is not qualified to provide testimony in your situation.
Downplaying the Damages
In a medical malpractice case, it is not enough to show that a doctor made a mistake. You must also prove that the mistake caused you harm. Sometimes, the defense will attempt to prove you weren’t really harmed rather than focusing on the question of whether or not a mistake was made.
Showing Absence of Causation
In cases where it is clear that the doctor made a mistake and the patient suffered damages, the defense can argue that the mistake did not necessarily cause the issue.
How Your Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
In addition to advising you on how to handle communications with the defense, your lawyer can provide legal services at every stage of the process. Having an attorney on your side is the best way to put legal expertise and strategical thinking to your advantage. Here is what you can expect from your lawyer:
Assessing the Damages
Your lawyer will help you determine how much the incident has cost you in monetary terms. Several factors weigh into the amount, including:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing treatment to correct the mistake
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Working with a lawyer can clarify what amount to demand. He or she will get into the details of your case to make sure you do not overlook any damages that deserve compensation.
Identifying Who to Sue
In medical malpractice cases, it is not always immediately obvious who is liable for the damages. Often, it is the doctor who treated you. However, sometimes the hospital can be found responsible for creating an unsafe environment by failing to enforce its policies or committing other oversights. For example, if the hospital was understaffed on the day the injury occurred, the lack of sufficient medical personnel could be found to be the cause of the damages.
Your lawyer can help you prepare for the defense by building a convincing case that is supported by evidence. He or she will help you obtain medical records and secure expert testimonies in accordance with legal protocols.
Filing Your Claim
Filing any personal injury claim involves meeting deadlines and following rules. Medical malpractice claims involve a few extra steps, including securing a Notice of the Right to Sue. Your lawyer will keep you informed about everything you need to do to get through this process.
Negotiating for a Fair Settlement
Taking a medical malpractice case to trial can be costly and time-consuming for the defense. To avoid the extra expense, many claims end in a settlement offer. Your lawyer can help you review an offer to determine whether or not it is fair. If it is too low, you may have the ability to negotiate for more.
Taking Matters to Court
Deciding whether to accept a settlement offer or go to court for a trial involves some strategy. Going to trial offers a chance to win a bigger payout, however, nothing will be awarded if you lose the case. Accepting a settlement offer also has the benefit of bringing the payout faster, which is especially advantageous when the funds are needed to cover the cost of your treatment.
Your lawyer can help you make an informed decision about going to court or accepting an offer. If you do go forward with a trial, he or she can fight for your best interests.
Build a Strong Medical Malpractice Case in Baltimore
When you work with a top medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore, you gain legal advice to cover a range of situations, including what to do if the defense lawyer contacts you. While working through the ins and outs of the legal system can be complicated, medical malpractice claims tend to be high-value. It pays to go through the process with an expert. If you feel you have grounds for a medical practice claim, contact Peter Angelos Law today.