If you believe that a medical professional was negligent when handling an aspect of your healthcare, you may be eligible to file a claim for medical malpractice or medical negligence. Filing a medical malpractice claim can be a difficult and arduous process. It is important to enlist the help of a skilled medical malpractice lawyer who understands the ins and outs of the process and helps you locate all of the documentation you need to file your claim and have a chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
What documentation is needed for a medical malpractice claim?
Although the necessary documentation can vary from case to case when it comes to filing a medical malpractice claim, this is a relatively comprehensive list of documents that, if not required, are still beneficial to have on hand while filing your claim with your legal counsel.
1. Medical records
The most important documents for starting to file a medical malpractice case are the patient’s medical records. It is usually wise to obtain both records of the negligent care issue in addition to any treatment the patient may have received after the fact. This can help to build and evaluate a potential case.
Some medical records and medical literature are given to patients when they are discharged from the care of their healthcare provider; the patient must submit a request to the relevant doctor or facility to obtain the full medical record. Patients are entitled to see and access their medical records, but the medical facility in question may charge a fee for their time. Sometimes, though, the records can be produced digitally, which can reduce the cost of obtaining them.
2. Medical bills
Injured patients are allowed by law to recover losses and damages for any medical expenses that are incurred due to an instance of medical malpractice. Providing your legal counsel access to your medical bills is a key part of proving the medical expenses that you claim you have had. This goes for proving both past and future medical expenses if the malpractice you experienced left you with conditions that will need to be treated over a long period.
These should be provided to your attorney when you first decide to use their counsel to file a claim, and you should keep giving them to the attorney if you continue receiving them while making your case.
3. Medicare/Medicaid and insurance
If medical treatment is paid for by a government program (such as Medicare or Medicaid) or a health insurer, the insured patient will receive both bills and explanations of benefits (EOBs). Keeping this correspondence is key because it establishes the different medical bills that have been paid and who has paid them.
Government programs and insurers may be entitled to subrogation should you win your case. Subrogation is a repayment of the medical bills that these organizations paid to fund your treatment. All of the correspondence from these entities should be part of the documentation you submit to your attorney.
4. Evidence of lost income
If you find yourself unable to work after a medical malpractice injury, simply keep your pay stubs and tax returns from before the injury to establish your previous income. Copies of these documents should be provided to the attorney in question.
This also holds true for any receipts for out-of-pocket expenses that were made out of necessity due to your injury. These may be expenses such as over-the-counter medications, medical equipment, or other costs relevant to your injury.
Photographs taken of the patient before and after the malpractice injury can both help to personalize the case and also assist in establishing the damages caused by the negligence. This photo evidence is always helpful to have on hand in a medical malpractice setting to provide a telling glimpse into the personal life of the patient making their case.
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