Why An Attorney Should Handle Your Malpractice Case
Although malpractice might be medical, dental, legal or accounting, just about any malpractice case is governed by the law of negligence. To be successful in a malpractice case, certain elements have to be proved. Those elements are:
- Breach of duty
You’re not in small claims court
Malpractice cases are some of the most difficult and complex cases that can be litigated. If you’re thinking of bringing any type of a malpractice case without the benefit of an attorney, get ready to be a casualty in a battle. It isn’t small claims court, and your case will probably take about two years to litigate if of course, you don’t get dismissed out first. Because you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s indeed likely that you will get dismissed out. You’ll be up against attorneys with extensive litigation experience who do nothing but specialized malpractice defense.
Statute of limitations
Every state has a statute of limitations in injury cases. They’re generally between one year and three years. If you fail to file your malpractice case within the time specified by your state’s statute of limitations, you can be forever barred from proceeding.
Many states like Illinois require you to file a certificate of merit from an expert along with your lawsuit. A doctor isn’t going to do this for the price of an office visit. All appropriate medical records must be reviewed, and the doctor must complete his or her certification. This will cost thousands of dollars. Whatever type of malpractice case you’ll want to bring, you’ll probably need an expert to testify. If you have a good malpractice case, you attorney will most likely advance that cost on your behalf.
The rules of discovery and evidence
You don’t know what civil procedure is or the applicable supreme court rules. You don’t know the rules of evidence either. The attorney defending the case will be well-versed and fluent in them, and you’ll die from a thousand cuts. They’ll slice away at your case until there’s nothing left.
Most attorneys don’t even take malpractice cases due to their complexity and expense. If they don’t take them, don’t take your own case. Seek out a knowledgeable, experienced and successful malpractice attorney for a consultation and case evaluation. Be prepared with all appropriate medical, dental, legal or accounting records so they can be reviewed. If the attorney doesn’t want to take the case, there’s a good reason for it. They’ll tell you why. It probably turns on difficulty proving negligence.