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The process of pursuing a medical malpractice claim

Not every mistake by a Montana doctor or hospital qualifies as negligence. Ideally, when a patient experiences a negative outcome after treatment or surgery, the medical provider will acknowledge the problem and take action to reduce the harm. A medical provider who dodges questions about what went wrong, however, might justify the patient taking legal action.

Pursuing a settlement will take time. While a case is working its way through the legal process, the patient must continue to cope with the pain and difficulty caused by the medical error. Someone disabled by a medical event might need to hire a home health aid and install equipment for handicapped people. These costs might eventually be recovered through a pretrial settlement or if a jury decides in favor of the victim.

Medical malpractice cases must meet relatively high legal standards. The law recognizes that all types of workers make mistakes, and a trial might not necessarily result in a monetary settlement. Doctors' fear of lawsuits sometimes makes them look guilty when they should have instead admitted to their errors. People sometimes decide not to file a malpractice claim when medical providers behave transparently.

A person concerned about a surgical error, a misdiagnosis or hospital negligence might gain insights into the viability of a lawsuit by consulting an attorney. An attorney's evaluation might determine that the evidence could meet the legal threshold to hold the medical provider financially responsible. To prepare a medical malpractice lawsuit, an attorney could organize medical records and collect testimony from impartial medical experts. This might prompt a settlement offer from the provider's insurance company.

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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