Pressing a medical negligence claim or lawsuit is one of the more involved legal processes. In particular, a medical negligence attorney will usually need a lot of paperwork, reports, and other supporting documentation to build a claim. There are, however, a few things a client can do in advance of starting a claim that will make the process a little easier.
You're most likely going to be talking with a lot of people during the process of diagnosing and treating your injuries. During this part of the process, it's smart to collect the name of all of the people you encounter. The names of the doctors and nurses who treat you are obvious names you need to collect. Other specialists, particularly physical therapists, can be serious contributors, too.
Be clear with them about your intentions. Let them know you're considering a medical negligence claim and that you'd like to be able to contact them.
This one can actually be a bit of a money saver. As you do business with various medical institutions, you'll probably end up the subject of a medical billing lien. This is a financial instrument that entitles the hospital, clinic, or practice to take money from your settlement or award to pay down outstanding bills.
That seems fair, right? One funny thing that occurs in medical lien cases is that hospitals love to lard up the bill with fees for providing reports and documentation.
Any time you can make a copy of a report, bill, or other documents without asking for it from a medical organization, do so. Likewise, try to get paperwork at the time of treatment by directly asking for it. This isn't going to prevent all fees, but it's a good start. Every nickel you can save is a win.
Try to Establish the Patient-Doctor Relationship
It's an essential part of every medical negligence claim to show that the doctor entered into an agreement to treat you. Sometimes this is easy because there's clear paperwork with signatures on it. Other times it can be a little tricky, such as when someone goes to the ER. It's almost universally the case that once a doctor begins actual treatment, surgery, or other actions, that a patient-doctor relationship is established even if you didn't sign anything.
Documentation is always better, though. Even a phone record from the date of your first appointment can provide a starting point for a medical negligence attorney to track down information.Share