In a previous post, we began speaking about a medical malpractice case filed by a woman who was bitten by a cat and developed serious medical problems due to a failure to provide adequate medical care. One of the points we noted about the case is that the woman is pursuing the litigation on her own, without the assistance of an attorney, at least initially.
Pursuing medical malpractice litigation without the assistance of legal counsel is certainly not recommended. First of all, determining whether it is even worthwhile to pursue medical malpractice litigation, given the significant costs typically involved, isn’t always easy to determine, particularly for somebody who has little or no knowledge of the law and the typical outcome of medical malpractice cases in terms of damages.
Another issue is determining the appropriate standard of care and obtaining appropriate experts for the case. Making a strong case for negligence often requires specialized knowledge that only an expert witness can provide, and situating that knowledge into the legal context for the court, as well as translating it into language that can be understood by a jury, can be a challenge.
Navigating the rules of the court system is also obviously going to a difficult matter for somebody who has little to no experience doing so. Lack of familiarity in this area can be a serious handicap and can compromise one’s case.
The bottom line here: those who have been significantly harmed by medical malpractice can and should seek out the advice, guidance and advocacy of an experienced medical malpractice attorney if they are seriously considering pursuing litigation. Doing so will give them the best possible opportunity to build a strong, effective case if they decide to go forward with the process.