The Affidavit of Merit requirement rule put into play in 2005 has caused a little confusion in the world of medical malpractice lawsuits. If you find your self needing to file a malpractice lawsuit, then it would behoove you to know and understand all the laws and rules surrounding a successful outcome. Compiling all the necessary information before filing a malpractice lawsuit should be standard procedure, but there are those who blindly proceed misinformed and unprepared. To prevent frivolous and unfounded lawsuits The Affidavit of Merit rule was written. This is what this means for you and your medical malpractice lawsuit. A calgary medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand all of this if it is complicated for you.
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The purpose of the Affidavit is to show proof that the plaintiff has researched their claim before a claim of medical malpractice. The language of this rule may change from state to state, but the general requirements are the same. These are the first steps in securing an adequate Affidavit of Merit:
- The plaintiff (you) must procure all necessary medial records relevant to the complaint
- The plaintiff must then seek out the expertise of one or more qualified physicians to review your medical records to determine if negligence has been done
- If negligence is found then the reviewing physician must state their opinion in writing therefore creating your Affidavit of Merit
Once you have thoroughly completed those three steps you are now ready to move on tot the next step. Makes sure that the reviewing physician practices the same field of medicine as the defendant health care provider.
Filing Your Affidavit of Merit
In most cases filing a single affidavit will suffice if you have multiple health care defendants in the same field. In the case of defendants in who practice in different medical fields then you would need Affidavits for each defendant. When you are satisfied you can do either one of two things:
- Continue with the process by filing your Affidavit of Merit
- Or File a motion of continuance. Continuances can go up to 90 days.
If you choose to do neither of these, your complaint will more than likely bee dismissed. In most cases the Affidavit must be filed alongside the initial complaint. When you have meticulously completed your Affidavit of Merit it’s smart to go ahead file it with your complaint. Speaking with a lawyer is always a great idea to gather as much information as possible before even considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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