Stethoscope Over Malpractice Wooden Block

The Dos and Don’ts of Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims

Law Offices of Jeff Martin Dec. 12, 2023

At the Law Offices of Jeff Martin, we're deeply committed to helping individuals like you navigate the often complex world of medical malpractice claims. If you suspect you're a victim of medical malpractice, don't hesitate to reach out. It's important to get legal assistance promptly to determine if you have grounds for a case.  

Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we serve clients throughout Eastern Oklahoma, including Muskogee, Bartlesville, and McAlester. We strive to provide strong support and sound legal guidance for victims, helping them seek justice and compensation for their damages. 

We understand that these situations can be intimidating and confusing, which is why we're here to provide you with some essential guidance.  

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Before pursuing a medical malpractice or negligence claim, you need to understand what this term entails. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the accepted standard of care in treating a patient. This deviation can lead to injury, loss, or further harm to the patient. A medical malpractice case might involve:  

  • failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis,  

  • purposely ignoring lab results,  

  • performing unnecessary surgeries,  

  • surgical errors,  

  • prescribing inappropriate medication,  

  • offering poor follow-up care,  

  • disregarding a patient's medical history,  

  • failing to order proper testing,  

  • providing inadequate hygiene care, or  

  • engaging in nursing home abuse or negligence. 

When we at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin & Associates handle these cases, we see the real impact of such negligence on our clients' lives. Victims of medical malpractice can face overwhelming medical expenses, lost wages, and serious personal injuries that can result in lasting physical, emotional, and financial burdens. This is why we strongly believe in advocating for our clients' rights and helping you navigate the process with confidence. 

Now, let's sift through the dos and don'ts of pursuing a medical malpractice claim. 

What to Do 

First and foremost, it's crucial to collect all relevant medical records. These documents are key to strengthening your case. They include anything from doctor's notes and test results to any other evidence that supports your claims. These records are essential in showing a deviation from the standard of care and the harm that this deviation has caused. Make sure to keep everything organized and easily accessible. 

In addition to gathering all necessary documentation, it's also advisable to seek out expert opinions. Professionals within the same medical field can provide valuable insights that could prove instrumental to your case. Their expert testimonies can greatly bolster your argument and shed light on areas of your case that may be difficult for those outside the medical profession to understand. 

Also, familiarize yourself with state-specific laws such as notification requirements and whether a medical malpractice review is required. In Oklahoma, before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you're generally required to give 90 days' notice to the healthcare provider who is being accused of malpractice. This notice must include an explanation of the nature of the claim and the type of loss suffered, along with the factual basis of the claim.

As for a medical malpractice review, Oklahoma law requires that an "Affidavit of Merit" be attached to the initial complaint in most medical malpractice cases. This affidavit must be prepared by a qualified expert who can attest that your case has merit based on a review of the relevant medical records and facts. The expert will need to confirm that the healthcare provider failed to provide the standard of care, leading to injury or harm. 

Finally, consult with experienced medical malpractice attorneys, such as our team at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin. Doing this can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. We're well-versed in handling medical negligence cases and can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that all steps are taken correctly, including filing within the statute of limitations and submitting all necessary documentation. 

What Not to Do

Now, let's discuss what not to do when pursuing a medical malpractice claim.  

First, don't delay taking action. Time is of the essence in these situations, as there are strict statutes of limitations within which you must file your claim. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally two years. This means you have two years from the date of the negligent action, or from the time you discovered (or should have reasonably discovered) the injury, to file a lawsuit. Failing to meet these deadlines could result in your case being dismissed, regardless of its validity. 

Another thing to steer clear of is discussing your case or sharing details on social media platforms. In today's digital age, it's important to remember that anything you say or post online can potentially be used against you by the opposing party. It's best practice to keep all discussions about your case confidential and only share information with your attorney. 

Also, avoid arguing with your doctor or the healthcare professional you believe has caused the harm. While it may be tempting to confront them, this could potentially damage your case, because any statements or actions you make could be used against you later on. Instead, focus on seeking legal assistance and letting your attorney handle any communication with the responsible party. 

Our final don't is do not make any decisions without consulting with your attorney first. They are there to guide you and understand the legal nuances of your case. Making decisions on your own could be detrimental to your claim's success. 

Our Attorneys Are Dedicated to Your Justice

In conclusion, pursuing a medical malpractice claim requires a careful balance of doing the right things and avoiding common pitfalls. By gathering all necessary records, seeking expert opinions, and consulting with an experienced attorney, you'll be in a strong position to navigate the legal process.  

On the flip side, delaying action and discussing your case on social media are missteps that should be avoided. By adhering to these guidelines, we believe that you can effectively increase your chances of obtaining the justice and compensation you deserve. Remember, we're here at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin to help every step of the way.