You were the victim of a tragic mistake at the hospital — and your entire life was turned upside down overnight.
You know that you’re the victim of medical malpractice, and you want to pursue your claim. Where do you start?
You need an “affidavit of merit” to get started
Through something called tort reform, additional hurdles have been placed on people who want to pursue personal injury claims related to medical malpractice. In theory, the goal is to weed out any frivolous claims.
In practical terms, this means you need a statement from a qualified medical expert attesting to the validity of your claim. If you try to file a medical malpractice lawsuit without it, the court will dismiss your claim.
The affidavit of merit must:
- Be signed under oath
- Support the allegations you make in your claim
- Identify the medical provider who made the mistake
- Identifies the act or acts of negligence the provider committed in clear, concise terms
This may not seem like much of a hurdle until you consider the fact that many doctors don’t like to criticize each other’s work. In addition, you only have a limited time to file your lawsuit. For medical malpractice claims, you have between one and three years (depending on the situation) to file your lawsuit. Given that it may take some time to find a doctor to review all of the information about your case and complete the affidavit of merit, this isn’t a process you want to delay.
When you go to the hospital, you expect to come out better — not worse. When you’ve been injured by someone’s careless mistake, you have every right to pursue fair compensation for your losses. Don’t let these kinds of hurdles stop you from obtaining what you are due.