Preparing to Meet with Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you were injured because of the negligent actions of a medical professional, you may have a legitimate medical malpractice claim. Medical lawsuits can be lengthy and costly endeavors, but medical malpractice lawyers can help you navigate this difficult legal terrain and help you collect compensation for costs related to your injuries, as well as for pain and suffering. This article will help you prepare to meet medical malpractice lawyers.
You will likely have a choice of several medical negligence lawyers to choose from when pursuing your medical negligence claim. Once you select a lawyer, there are a number of things you should do to prepare for your first meeting.
Discussing Your Case with Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Your lawyer and you will need to discuss the facts of the case. Although describing details about how you were injured can be helpful, medical malpractice lawyers will want to see actual documentation to get a better sense of the strength of your case.
When meeting with your attorney, you should organize information related to your malpractice claim. The following is a list of some of the documentation you should consider bringing to your first meeting:
- Photographs of your injuries
- Personal notes about the progression of your injuries and your disorder
- Letters received from the hospital, your health care provider, and your insurance carrier
- Letters you sent to your hospital, your health care provider, and your insurance carrier
- Medical receipts and copies of relevant medical bills
- Medical records and test results
Accessing Your Medical Records
Medical malpractice lawyers need to see their clients' medical records to make a fully informed assessment of the case. However, due to federal privacy laws, your medical records are protected from most third-party access.
Under these same laws, you have the ability to grant people such as your lawyers access to your private medical records. You can also make requests for copies of your medical records yourself.
To allow your attorney access to your medical records, you will have to sign a release form with your doctor or hospital. Your malpractice attorney should be able to assist you with this process.
If you wish to access your medical records yourself, you will have to visit or write your health care providers and make a formal request for your records. When writing to your providers, you will need to include some personal information, including your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, and patient identification number if you have it available.
There are a number of types of medical records you may wish to request. This includes:
- Office notes and system entries
- X-ray/MRI films and reports
- Vaccination records
- Prescription records
- Test results
- In-patient treatment records
- Billing and payment records
Looking Ahead at Your Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice lawsuits can take a very long time to resolve, sometimes lasting as long as several years. Even the best of medical malpractice lawyers can't do much to expedite the process.
When you meet with you attorney, you should ask him or her questions about what you can expect about your case. After your lawyer has had time to review all your documentation, including your medical records, he or she may be able to give you a better estimate of how long your case may take to resolve.