Doctors are legally required to adhere to the proper standard of care when diagnosing and treating patients. When a doctor fails to adhere to this standard, a patient may suffer injury due to misdiagnoses and medical errors caused by their doctor’s negligence. Victims of medical malpractice and their families may be entitled to compensation for the unnecessary harm they have endured.
If you and your family have decided to file a medical malpractice claim against your treating physician, your first step should be to contact your doctor. Your goal is to determine what went wrong and give the doctor a chance to determine whether the problem can be fixed and offer a possible solution. You can then contact the medical licensing board responsible for issuing your physician’s medical license. They may choose to discipline your doctor and give you an idea on where to go next.
In Hawaii, state law says you have two years from the day you discovered or reasonably should have discovered your injury to file your medical malpractice claim. However, you should begin the process as soon as possible. Before you file your claim, you will need to file a certificate of merit to confirm that you have a legitimate basis for your claim. The certificate of merit requires you to contact another physician to be your expert, and have them review your records. This physician will certify that the doctor who treated you did not follow accepted medical practices and caused you injury.
Once your attorney files your certificate of merit, you can then proceed with your claim. In many cases, you and your doctor may be able to reach a settlement out of court. If you are unable to reach a deal, court will be the next step. Your attorney will be responsible for preparing your case to give you the best chance at recovering damages.