If you have questions regarding the collection of evidence in a Charleston medical malpractice case, do not hesitate to consult with a professional injury attorney from Howell and Christmas. Evidence in the form of doctor’s reports and third-party professional testimony can make a significant impact on proving’s one’s case. Read on to learn more about what constitutes important evidence in a Charleston medical malpractice case, as well as the ways a dedicated attorney from Howell and Christmas could fight for your rights today.
Gathering Evidence Before a Case
The primary source of evidence in a Charleston medical malpractice case is a patient’s medical records. After a complete copy of all medical records related to the alleged medical malpractice is obtained, a third-party professional will be retained to review those records and give an opinion as to whether or not a potential medical malpractice case exists. If it does, then a file is opened by the attorney and perhaps a lifetime of medical records of the plaintiff can be accessed.
Releasing Medical Records
The first step in collecting evidence in a Charleston medical malpractice case is to gather the patient’s medical records. That individual signs a medical authorization release form that is sent to their medical providers, wherein under the HIPAA law, they are required to give the qualified malpractice attorney the requested copies. The assistance of the patient or their family in gathering medical records without sending the authorization form on law firm letterhead also happens occasionally. Finding and eliciting the opinions of professional witnesses is equally important as well.
Other types of important evidence in a Charleston medical malpractice case could include testimonial evidence. An individual can have a lay testimony, which involves family members who can testify as to how the plaintiff was before and after the alleged malpractice occurred, as well testimonial evidence from external medical professionals. A patient cannot bring a malpractice case in South Carolina without this type of witness.
Every case is unique and stands on its own. The evidence can vary with respect to the medical records. Occasionally, someone will note medical records that are missing and perhaps were destroyed. Sometimes it is noted that medical records were altered and, of course, witness testimony could vary. Witness testimony can even vary within the same witness. For example, a witness may say one thing during an interview and something completely different at the deposition.
Average Case Length
The time a lawsuit for medical malpractice is filed until the time the case is tried is generally a year to a year and a half. During that time, discovery is taking place. Both the plaintiff and the defense are exchanging information in a number of ways, such as written discovery (Interrogatories) which are questions that the lawyers send to each other to be answered.
A Request for Production of Documents is a written request sent to the lawyers requiring each side to produce certain documentation or other physical evidence. In addition, there are Depositions or oral discovery in which testimony is taken under oath of witnesses. All the evidence is collected for presentation in court.
To learn more about evidence in a Charleston medical malpractice case, consider consulting with a weathered injury attorney today to discuss your legal options.