When you have a medical malpractice claim, you have to go through several steps to get your claim addressed, including a submitting a demand letter. Most of the time, a doctor's insurer is not going to settle a malpractice case without first going through the process of filing a lawsuit. Doctors pay a large amount in malpractice insurance for this reason-they want their reputation defended when there is a claim against them.
First, the doctor is notified that a lawsuit is being filed against them. This is required by state law. Next, your attorney has to obtain experts in the same field with similar background as the doctor who treated you. This is required to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Your expert witness will have to certify to the court that the standard of care was violated in your case.
After your attorney obtains the necessary witnesses, gets your medical records, and gathers all the other evidence needed in your case, he or she will write a demand letter to the doctor's insurer. The demand letter contains the amount your attorney believes is necessary to pay for your medical claims, lost wages, out of pocket expenses and future treatment. It could also include amounts for pain and suffering.
The amount given in the demand letter will help to begin negotiations with the insurer. If the two sides are able to come to agreement on the amount of damages you are owed, then the lawsuit will settle out of court. If not, then the case will go to trial.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.