3 ways to handle your child's medical malpractice case

No parent wants to hear that one's child suffered an injury because of a medical mistake. Whether it's waiting too long to induce your wife into labor or giving your child the wrong medications, medical mistakes simply aren't acceptable. There are a few different things you can do to handle medical malpractice, so you can get your child the help he or she needs.

Talk to the medical provider

The first step you should take is to talk to the medical provider. He or she is more likely to understand what went wrong and know what steps need to happen to make your child better or to provide adequate support for a permanent injury.

Sometimes, the medical provider may offer these services for free or at a reduced cost, so you don't have to take him or her to court. If the solution offered isn't enough, then it's still up to you to decide if you want to speak to an attorney for further negotiations. Most doctors want to avoid going to court, and statistics show that 35 percent of cases typically settle before trial. Only 3 percent of cases head to trial and are ruled in a plaintiff's favor, so consider the options carefully before you choose to move forward with litigation.

Speak to the medical board

While the medical board can't prosecute the medical provider, it can give you peace of mind that the situation will be investigated. The medical board has the legal ability to restrict or suspend a doctor's license if they find the doctor was negligent or abusive in your case. The board itself can't compensate you, so a trial or settlement is necessary for that to happen.

Head to trial

If you're determined to go to trial, there are several steps you need to take. First, know how long you have before your claim expires. In California, you have a year from the discovery of the injury to begin the case and a maximum of three years in special circumstances. Next, consider having a medical assessment to confirm the merit of the case. Another health care professional can discuss with you if the treatment your child received was appropriate or out of the scope of normal treatment.

Next, speak to the medical provider or have your attorney reach out to this professional or the medical provider's employer. You may be able to settle early without filing a case, or, if you have filed a case, the hospital or provider may be eager to settle early. Before you choose to settle, make sure you're aware of what's a fair amount of compensation for the injuries your child suffered.

Finally, if the medical provider won't settle, you can head to court. Your attorney will help you build a case that shows how neglect or a lack of care has ch anged your child's life forever.

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