One of the most important and most difficult steps in every medical malpractice lawsuit is the initial evaluation of the case. The success of every medical malpractice case depends entirely on proper evaluation.
The first thing you learn when you evaluate a case is whether the case has merit. While some cases seem cut and dry, lawsuits aren’t always about what actually happened, but instead are about what you can prove happened. Furthermore, evaluating a case helps the attorney and client determine whether the case is worth pursuing. Lawsuits are time-consuming and costly, and it is critical to the decision-making process to find out if the benefits outweigh the costs.
As your medical malpractice lawyer, I will take the following steps to evaluate your case:
1. Get information.
- Have a conversation with my client to get all of the details about what happened.
- Create a timeline of events based on the information I am able to gather.
- Ask my client for his or her opinion about what happened.
- Get to know my client on a more personal level. (This is important for two reasons: first, so we feel comfortable around each other, and second, so I can determine how my client will be perceived by a jury if the case was to go to trial.)
2. Get all records.
- Obtain client’s medical records, including but not limited to past medical history, records of the medical incident in question, medical test resorts, all medical files associated with the client.
- Obtain lost wage reports, as well as any other documentation that may be relevant to the case.
3. Talk to experts.
- Find a medical expert who will testify that a medical mistake was made.
- Based on their expert opinion, determine whether the care received by your client deviated from the accepted standard of care.
- Based on their expert opinion, determine whether a significant mistake was made.
- Based on their expert opinion, determine whether the mistake actually caused harm to your client.
- Lastly, get their expert opinion as to whether the outcome would have been the same if the mistake wasn’t made.
4. Assess case value.
- Develop a preliminary idea of the value of the case. (This is important because medical malpractice cases are expensive and time-consuming, so the attorney needs to know if the case is worth pursuing.)
- Determine whether the value of the case equals the amount of work a lawyer will put in, and whether the client will be left with a reasonable recovery.
5. Discuss evaluation with client.
- After evaluating the case, discuss the findings with my client.
- The evaluation process can take months, so it is important to explain to my client how a final decision and evaluation was reached.
Evaluating your claim can be a lengthy process, but it is necessary for you and your lawyer to make educated decisions about your case.
Your case can be won or lost during the evaluation phase. That is why it is important to find a medical malpractice lawyer who has the experience and resources necessary to properly evaluate your case, protect your rights, and help you determine whether you want to pursue your claim.
If you or a loved one was harmed as a result of medical malpractice, you have to call me right away at 1 (800) 556-4769. I can help you evaluate your case and get you the compensation you deserve. As your Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.