Tupelo Medical Malpractice Attorneys Representing Clients Hurt by a Medical Error in Tupelo, MS
Most people trust that the doctors and healthcare professionals they turn to to keep them healthy and well will treat them in a professional manner and uphold their duty of care towards their patients. However, when things don’t go so well, medical errors can happen, causing significant pain and suffering to those affected by them. Our attorneys explain how individuals injured by a healthcare provider may seek compensation for their damages in Mississippi.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice in Mississippi?
Medical malpractice is a legal term used to describe a situation in which a healthcare provider acts in a negligent or omissive manner and provides substandard treatment to a patient in a deviation from the standards of their profession. Examples of medical malpractice may include giving a patient an incorrect diagnosis or treatment, prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dosage, making a serious mistake during a surgical procedure, and others.
The path for an injured patient to seek restitution for a medical malpractice case is by filing a civil lawsuit. Unlike other states that may require additional steps before a medical malpractice lawsuit can reach the courtroom, Mississippi allows affected plaintiffs to seek compensation through a civil action, as long as certain key requirements are fulfilled.
What Are the Steps to Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In Mississippi, plaintiffs wishing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit are not required to undergo mandatory arbitration or pre-lawsuit screenings before being allowed to begin the litigation process. However, there are a few specific steps to be followed. Your case begins by sending a letter to all defendants in your case notifying them that you intend to initiate a medical malpractice action. Your notice should include important details such as the grounds for your medical malpractice claim and the damages you suffered, as well as other relevant details. In general, this initial notice needs to be mailed several weeks in advance of the date when you intend to file your lawsuit.
By sending your notice in advance, you are giving the parties an opportunity to reach an agreement before going to trial. If an agreement cannot be reached, your case may then move on to the trial litigation phase, and a Complaint and Summons describing the details of your case is served to the defendants and filed with the clerk of the court. Once this happens, the clock starts ticking for the defendants to file a document called an Answer, providing their view of the case and admitting or denying the claims made in the complaint. After the answer is received, the case continues to the discovery phase, which allows both parties to prepare for trial.
When it is time for the trial, both parties will have a chance to present their side of the story as well as evidence they may have gathered to support their claims. The trial can take place with a jury, or just with a judge. The jury or the judge will then make a decision and share it with both parties before ending the trial.
Do I Need a Certificate of Consultation for My Medical Malpractice Case?
Another additional step that may be required for most medical malpractice cases in Mississippi is obtaining a document called a Certificate of Consultation. A certificate of consultation is proof that your attorney swears under oath to having consulted with at least one qualified medical expert to review your case, and the expert offered their professional opinion on the standard of medical care of the treatment you received, as well as an opinion on the negligent actions of your healthcare provider.
In addition, the Certificate of Consultation attests that your attorney believes said expert has relevant knowledge concerning the medical conditions and treatments addressed in your lawsuit, and that based on the expert’s opinion, there is a reasonable basis for filing your lawsuit.
Obtaining a Certificate of Consultation is an important step for many medical malpractice cases, because your case may end up not being heard if you do not have this document. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, so you should ask your attorney whether your particular case requires a Certificate of Consultation.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help?
While medical malpractice lawsuits in Mississippi are somewhat more straightforward than those in other states, filing a successful medical malpractice lawsuit is far from simple. There are still several requirements and formalities to be fulfilled before your case is even heard in a courtroom. By working with a medical malpractice attorney, you have better chances of reaching a positive outcome and receiving compensation for your damages.
Rundlett Law Firm, PLLC, has represented many clients in Tupelo, MS who were victims of a medical error or negligence. We are here to help you fight for compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses due to medical malpractice. Contact us at (662) 502-5195 to discuss your case.