If you’re on the verge of going to trial for a medical malpractice case in Maryland, your medical malpractice attorney is the best person to get you ready for the experience. While every case is unique and your attorney will provide you with specific guidance, there are some universal considerations.
Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney: How Do I Prepare for a Trial?
Understanding What You Have to Prove
Medical malpractice claims in Maryland are governed by specific rules, and not every unfavorable outcome from medical treatment or surgery is automatically negligence. You must prove that the healthcare provider deviated from accepted standards of practice and that this deviation resulted in injury or harm. This can be difficult, and you need to have patience with your lawyers as they help you carefully build a case that the courts will find convincing.
Gather Comprehensive Documentation
Documentation will serve as the backbone of your case. Work with your lawyer proactively to ensure you have all pertinent medical records, expert testimonies, witness statements, and any other evidence that can corroborate your claim. This includes documentation of treatments, any communication with healthcare providers, and any financial records that might show the financial impact of the alleged malpractice.
Detailed timelines, diagnostic reports, prescription records, and even photos of injuries or the progress of your condition can all help your claim. Consider also including journals or personal diaries that document your daily experiences and the challenges you’ve experienced since the incident. These records can offer a vivid and personal account of your ordeal.
Engage in Mock Trials
Your attorney may suggest doing a “mock trial” so you can get a sense of how the proceedings might unfold. This allows you to practice answering questions, familiarize yourself with the courtroom environment, and gauge the potential reactions of jurors and how you’ll respond (or not respond). This exercise gives you a chance to express concerns in a safe environment and build your confidence before the actual trial.
Stay Informed and Communicate
Frequent and open communication with your attorney is always important, and even more so as you head to trial. Regularly check in for updates, ask questions, and express any concerns. The time to ask questions is now: your ability to do so during a trial is more limited. Staying informed about the status of your case and any new findings will ensure you’re always one step ahead and adequately prepared.
It’s a partnership, after all. Your attorney’s expertise combined with your personal insights creates a complete perspective on the event that can give the court a real understanding of what you’ve been through and who is at fault.
Anticipate the Defense’s Strategy
Just as you are building your case, the defense is doing the same. Medical malpractice defense strategies can be aggressive, and you need to be aware of what they might try. Their tactics can include something as simple as remaining polite and professional to your face until the trial, and then suddenly becoming aggressive and hoping you’ll be caught off guard.
They might question the validity of your claims, the severity of your injuries, or present alternative theories for how you were injured. Familiarize yourself with these tactics. By forecasting their moves, you can work with your attorney to create preemptive counterarguments and maintain your composure during the proceedings. Discuss with your attorney potential strategies the defense might employ and how you can counteract them.
Mentally and Emotionally Prepare
A trial can be a taxing experience, both mentally and emotionally, so it’s essential to set aside time to take care of yourself. Consider also seeking counseling or joining support groups to share your feelings and get the emotional backing you might need. It’s easy to let other aspects of health slip during these times, but try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, exercising, and getting ample rest. The stronger you are mentally and emotionally, the better positioned you’ll be to face the challenges of the trial.
Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
Finally, it’s imperative to know your rights and responsibilities as you go to trial. Your attorney can guide you through this, ensuring you understand the steps involved, the potential outcomes, and any duties you need to fulfill. It’s very important that you follow any court mandates, make timely submissions of any required information, and keep a professional and controlled decorum throughout the trial.
Being proactive in fulfilling your responsibilities will put you in the best possible position to get a favorable outcome. Find out more about how to prepare from a highly experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland.
Preparing for a medical malpractice trial in Maryland means getting thorough documentation together, anticipating the defense and what they’ll try, and ensuring your own personal well-being. It also means preparing yourself for what the courtroom will be like and for the demands and requirements of the court. With the right preparation and an experienced attorney by your side, you’ll be ready to present your case and positioned for a good outcome.