The decision to pursue an action against your or your loved one’s medical care provider can be intimidating. Making this decision, while also dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of the consequences of suspected medical malpractice, can also be overwhelming.
What follows are some suggested steps to take prior to consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer. Preparing for this meeting will ease your anxiety and make the consult most effective.
First, prior to scheduling the meeting with your prospective attorney, assemble as many medical records as possible for review by that attorney prior to the meeting.
- Most medical records are now available electronically, and can be obtained by the patient through a Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) request.
- A simple keyword search using your internet search engine will yield multiple templates of a HITECH letter.
- Once you decide upon a reputable Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer with whom to meet, you should volunteer that you have obtained these records, which you should be able to share through a CD or thumb drive.
Second, prepare a chronology of events you believe are important to your potential claim. Be prepared to discuss with the attorney:
- Who do you believe rendered negligent medical care?
- Where and when did it happen?
- What do you believe happened?
- And what injury did you incur as a result?
Third, prepare a list of names and addresses of the healthcare professionals and institutions involved in the treatment at issue in the potential claim.
Finally, assemble and maintain as many of the original documents (including payment of expenses by insurance, explanation of benefit forms, patient safety letters) associated with the procedure as possible.
The attorney will now be in a much better position, after obtaining additional details at your consult, to assess your potential matter and provide you with timely advice as to the merits of a potential claim.