Steps in a Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Case
Undergoing medical treatment can be a stressful experience. Receiving poor care from a medical professional you are supposed to trust can make it all the more trying. While healthcare providers may do everything in their power to offer the best treatment, occasionally Medical Malpractice may occur.
If you have suffered undue harm or injury as a result of poor healthcare, you may want to investigate whether you are entitled to Medical Malpractice recovery.
Below are the 5 steps of a Rhode Island Medical Malpractice case.
The first step in filing a lawsuit against a healthcare provider is a thorough preliminary investigation. During this investigation, all information regarding medical treatment, history and condition is gathered. Your lawyer will speak to all of the medical professionals involved in your medical care. Your attorney will also review your medical records. The investigation is intended to answer the following questions:
Assuming adequate evidence of negligence is found, the data will be passed on to an expert in the relevant medical field. If the expert comes to the conclusion that you have grounds for a case, he or she will testify as your ‘expert medical witness’. The expert will state that in his or her medical opinion, you were on the receiving end of negligent care and received injury or harm as a direct result.
Filing A Claim
Once it has been established that medical negligence was the cause of harm, your lawyer will file a lawsuit with the court.
This step sees the counsel on each side write questions to the opposition. The opposing party must then answer in writing under penalty of perjury. All documents pertaining to the case must be provided for review.
Depositions are also given at this stage. These are similar to the testimonies given in court; however, these are given only outside of the courtroom. They allow each side to hear the opposing party’s argument in advance so that they may prepare adequately.
As insurance companies would prefer to avoid a loss, a large proportion of the stronger medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. As a result, those that go to trial are usually won by the defense.
If both parties are unable to agree on a settlement, they may choose to go down the mediation route. This involves both sides sitting down with a neutral mediator to come to an agreement. Alternatively, they could decide on a arbitration settlement. This is when the chosen neutral party decides the outcome of the case.
If no fair agreement was settled upon during the previous step, then the case will go to trial. Prior to this, both parties will prepare testimonies, exhibits, focus groups (to try and ascertain how the real jurors may react to what they hear), and the opening and closing statements.
During the trial, everything that has been prepared by both parties will be presented in court. The judge and jury will hear all of the facts and deliver the final verdict.
Vincent Morgera is the leading Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Attorney. For a free case consultation, call: 401-456-0300.