If you sustain an injury due to a misdiagnosis or inadequate medical treatment, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. In a successful claim, you must prove that the nurse, physician or another medical provider caused your injury due to negligence.
While this may seem like an overwhelming task, taking each step one-by-one can help break up the process into manageable pieces.
1. Contact the party responsible for your injury
According to FindLaw, the first step before you file a claim should be to contact the medical professional working with you. He or she may be able to correct the problem, at no cost to you. At the very least, you may be able to understand what went awry and why.
2. Contact the governing licensing board
If the medical professional is unable or unwilling to help you, your next step should be to contact the appropriate licensing board. This step will not compensate you for damages resulting from the malpractice, but these licensing boards can issue warnings and even revoke licenses if the offense is severe enough.
3. Become familiar with the statute of limitations
In Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases. While this may seem like a long span of time, it is always best to start your claim as soon as possible. With long chunks of time dedicated to healing and getting back on your feet, time is of the essence to establish a claim.
4. Obtain a certificate of merit
To officially file a claim, a medical expert must give you a certificate of merit. This happens once the expert, usually another doctor, confirms that your injury is likely due to the negligence of the original party.
Outlining the steps you need to complete before filing your claim can help the process go along more quickly.