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What Is The First Step In Pursuing A Medical Malpractice Claim?

Well, it’s changed over the years. In the 1980s a new statute was passed by the legislature which required us to begin doing what’s called a pre-suit notice. When you want to start a medical malpractice claim, you have to first have an affidavit from a similar healthcare provider. Someone in the same specialty as the person you’re going to sue. The affidavit has to say number one, there was malpractice, and number two, the plaintiff was injured as a result. That affidavit is then sent with a notice letter, and with medical records, and medical release authorizations. There are a number of requirements. It’s sent to the perspective defendant and their insurance company, if they have insurance, will then get it. That starts a 90 day pre-suit screening period during which time the defense is entitled to take an un-sworn statement from the plaintiff, is entitled to have the plaintiff examined by a physician or physicians of their choice. They’re entitled to get all of the medical records so that in theory each side can evaluate how strong or weak the case is.