Collecting Evidence in an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Case

When you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the medical malpractice of a medical professional, it is only fair that you are able to recover damages. If you are thinking about filing a claim, you may want to obtain a seasoned lawyer who is experienced with collecting evidence in an Atlanta medical malpractice case. The attorney could provide great benefit for you being able to gather the necessary evidence to prove liability.

Hospital Policies and Procedures

When a lawsuit starts, the attorney obtains the policies and procedures of the hospital to see if there are any violations in policy. For example, in a case where a woman is in labor, the doctor might order the patient to be moved to the surgical suite stat. The attorney needs to know what stat means in that specific hospital under those circumstances. Many policies and procedures in hospitals say stat means 30 minutes or less. Therefore, if it took 45 minutes to get the patient into the surgical room, there was a violation of hospital policy.

The attorney can also acquire personnel files to determine whether a similar situation occurred in the past. For example, the attorney has the personnel file of a nurse who administered twice the dose of medicine that was ordered, causing an adverse reaction to a patient. If the attorney sees that the nurse previously had similar problems with two or three other patients and the hospital knew about it and continued to employ the nurse, that could be used as evidence of liability.

Collecting Medical and Employment Records

To obtain medical records pre-suit, the attorney uses a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form that allows the injured person to give permission for the attorney to get his or her medical records. The attorney finds the appropriate forms and sends them along with a letter requesting the patient’s records to the different providers. When the individual lost time from work as a result of his or her injury, the attorney could send a request to the person’s employer to get his or her employment files to see how much time at work the person missed.

Discovery Process

Once a lawsuit is filed, there is a formal discovery process to request documents from the other side. The discovery process is when there is an exchange of legal information so that both sides can know the facts of the case. The other party either produces the documents or tells the attorney why he or she is not going to provide them. The defendant(s) then request documents of the patient and the attorney must provide those documents and answers, or provide a reason for not doing so. When there are disputes, the parties can go to the courts to determine whether something should be produced. Collecting evidence in an Atlanta medical malpractice case can take as little as sixth months if it is a straightforward case. However, most often, it takes about a year or two.

How an Attorney Could Help

Once the necessary evidence is obtained, the attorney may look to retain expert witnesses to testify. The lawyer prepares all the witnesses to be ready to present in court. It is important for individuals to be open and forthcoming with everything. You should also give permission to your friends and family members to talk to the attorney.

Collecting evidence in an Atlanta medical malpractice case can be a complex and lengthy process, which is why you could benefit from obtaining legal counsel. A committed team of attorneys will have an in-house doctor who could provide medical insight into your situation. Call today to schedule a free case review.