Medical Malpractice – When It Makes Sense To File a Lawsuit And When It Is Better To Retreat

If the received treatment had a negative impact on health or the psyche – you can file a lawsuit demanding financial compensation. Consider the cases when it really is worth doing.

How malpractice is different from a mistake

When getting sued for medical malpractice, the courts verify whether the actions of the doctor were in line with generally accepted practice and find out if a doctor with sufficient qualifications would have acted in the same way. If the answer to these questions is negative, and the doctor’s actions caused damage to the patient, medical malpractice is recognized as valid.

Such malpractice can be filed regarding operations or other invasive procedures that were not performed in the best way or the absence of evidence and made the patient disabled or led to death.

Malpractice can also be filed due to a late diagnosis of serious and dangerous conditions, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Or if there is a mistake in diagnosing the condition of the fetus or in the incorrect management of pregnancy and childbirth, if this leads to grave consequences – the birth of children with developmental defects or brain damage that make them severely disabled. However, compensation may be required to provide care for such a child.            

When to file a lawsuit

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is 7 years, in exceptional cases, it can be extended. In such a case, lawyer consultations are recommended specializing in such kinds of claims.

The responsibility of the doctor and the causal relationship between malpractice and damage to health are determined by the period from when the recovery ends up to the complete formation of the defect, that is before it becomes irreversible.        

How to file a lawsuit

You may file a lawsuit personally or by sending an email. It is probably best to file a lawsuit personally so that you can verify that the requested amount is correct, and if something is missing from the papers, the clerk can let you know about it straight away. You may make a phone call to the clerk’s office ahead of time and ask about the payment to be made for filing a paper and in what form it should be made, whether it will be cash, money transfer, personal bank account, or credit card payment so that you will know the form of payment and the amount required.

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Going to court

It is advisable to clarify whether significant damage has been caused, which made it to where disability happened and reduced functionality. Not every medical mistake or complication caused by the actions of doctors is malpractice. Therefore, patients sign a consent form for the intervention, which describes in detail the possible risks.

Also, filing a claim requires serious damage due to negligent acts.

The difficulties of such claims

A lawsuit can last for years. Besides, the opinion of an expert in the field of medicine, and sometimes even several, must be attached to the lawsuit. This is costly. It is advisable to get a lawyer`s consultation working with highly qualified experts. A lawsuit needs only be filed in cases where significant damage has been caused and provided that experts consider it to be malpractice, not a complication of the disease.

How much does it cost

If that happens, the lawyer’s fee is paid when the lawsuit is ended – out of the compensation got by the client. Therefore, at the beginning of the case, big expenses are not what the client faces. There is a common interest between the client and the lawyer.

Additional costs associated with obtaining expert opinions. The expert`s specialization and the examination`s objectives are what their size depends upon. Therefore, to file a lawsuit is only with significant damage, allowing you to rely on a large compensation.

Important law changes               

The Supreme Court reduced the statute of limitations – from 25 to 7 years – for minors suffering from developmental defects or severe disabilities who were not diagnosed during pregnancy.

When it makes no sense to file a lawsuit

One should not file a claim for medical malpractice if it has not led to disability or significant damage; when the complication was known, the patient was told about the possibility of its development before the intervention, and he preferred to take the risk; when the attending physician is highly qualified, familiar with the patient’s problem and consulted with specialists.

The amount of compensation is limited by the amount of damage. Even if an unpleasant event occurs that leads to the loss of several working days, you should not get involved in a lawsuit involving large expenses, which will take all the compensation received.

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We must also take into account that if the claim is rejected, the plaintiff will not receive a refund of expenses in this case and will also be forced to cover the costs of the defendants.


An amount of time to sue a neglecting paramedic is limited. As a rule, two years from the date of harm, the date of the discovery from harm, or the date on which you should have detected the damage based on logic. Check your state’s statutes or consult with a lawyer to determine how soon you need to file a lawsuit in your state.

Filing a rash lawsuit can result in a huge fine. Be sure that your legal theories are reasonable let alone your claim is supported by facts before continuing with the medical malpractice to happen.

There is no way you could sue for medical malpractice in Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden. These countries have non-medical malpractice schemes that offer compensation in exchange for the right to sue. Also, telemedicine practices can assist in prevention.

Do not forget that it is expected in court that you are aware of and follow the same rules that lawyers do. Make sure that you have read the rules of civil proceedings in your state and any local rules published in the territorial court you live in.

A licensed lawyer consultation is what is needed before you take any actions that could affect the legitimate rights and duties of yours.

About the author

Melisa Marzett has always wanted to become a successful writer and when she grew up, she was working as a waitress, then a journalist, a translator traveling a lot writing about everything she came across. Currently writing articles for, she keeps on traveling and planning on her first book to come out. She keeps her cards face down for the moment as to what kind of book it is going to be. She believes that all in good time.

Johnny Thompson

Johnny Thompson is a senior reporter for Generator Research in Los Angeles, reporting on technology, business, finances, and more. He previously worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

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