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What are some initial steps in a medical malpractice claim?

When a California patient has been injured at the hands of a negligent doctor or nurse, the patient may feel as if his or her life has been turned upside down. He or she may not only have extensive medical expenses, but may also feel victimized by doctor malpractice. Filing a medical malpractice claim can be a way not only to obtain compensation following malpractice, but also for a victim to feel that he or she can hold the negligent party accountable for the poor care provided.

There are important steps to take for a California resident who wishes to pursue a medical malpractice claim. First, it may be wise to consult with an attorney for guidance. A patient who has already received poor care will want to ensure that all of his or her rights and options are protected, and that a malpractice claim is properly filed. Specifically, there are time limits, known as statutes of limitation, which limit how long a patient has to file a claim against a practitioner.

Before filing a malpractice claim, it may be wise to contact the medical professional who caused the harm in an effort to understand what transpired and whether the doctor is able to correct the problem. Subsequently, it may be appropriate to contact the relevant licensing board, as a licensing board can issue a warning or implement other discipline against the practitioner.

After discussion with an attorney, a patient may consider that his or her best option for financial recovery is via an out-of-court settlement. An attorney can offer guidance as to whether this might be a good option.

Medical malpractice lawsuits must be undertaken with care and diligence for a person to have the best chance of recovering. Please note that this post gives a general overview of possible steps to take when considering a medical malpractice claim and is not intended to include an exhaustive list of instructions.

Source: FindLaw, "First Steps in a Medical Malpractice Case," accessed Jan. 8, 2016

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