Documents Needed for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in South Africa
If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice and have suffered injury and damages as the result of the institution or doctor’s negligence, you have the right to take legal action to get compensation. However, there is a limited timeframe in which you can do so and specific requirements must be met.
The first step is thus to get in contact with medical malpractice specialist attorneys in South Africa to help you determine whether the requirements for malpractice or negligence are met. You will need supporting documents such as receipts and medical records to take legal steps. A merits investigation has to be done too in order to determine whether you have a claim or not. It is important to note that without this investigation, no payment will be made.
The medical records provide essential information regarding your medical history and visits to the particular practitioner and other medical practitioners. The records show which treatments you received, prescriptions you were given, and diagnoses and notes regarding your condition. The medical malpractice specialist attorneys will assess the records to determine if a doctor-patient relationship existed and whether the doctor had a duty of care.
They also review the records for possible mistakes, steps missed in diagnosing the condition, and to determine who was at fault. If you were hospitalised, the patient chart will also be used in addition to the theatre schedule, as well as records of medical tests performed and the results thereof. You may find it difficult to obtain your medical records from the relevant institutions or practitioner and this is where the professional help of attorneys will be valuable. They will follow the correct procedures in obtaining the records.
Medical Aid Records
The attorneys (or you) will need to approach your medical aid to obtain records of claims and payments. The records will provide additional evidence related to treatments received, costs associated with such, medicine prescribed, tests, hospitalisation, period of treatment, and more.
Receipts and Accounts
All receipts for out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by your medical aid, as well as doctor statements, fuel costs related to travelling to and from medical facilities, and any receipts for cash payments must be kept. You can also supply a copy of your bank statement indicating EFTs made to medical institutions, pharmacies, and practitioners as supportive evidence. The attorneys will review all the costs for which you have proof of payment and will calculate your total expenses incurred as the result of the malpractice.
Proof of Loss of Income
Payslips indicating sick leave days taken in addition to any proof of loss of income must also be submitted. If you are self-employed or the owner of a business, you will need to submit bank statements and payslips to indicate the total amount related to loss of income. If you have lost your job because of your inability to work as the result of the injury sustained, you will need to submit the termination of employment letter as well.
The attorneys will call upon experts in the particular medical field to determine if the practitioner followed correct procedures and whether the person was qualified to provide the treatment. In addition, they will look at witness statements regarding your health condition, the practitioner visits, loss of income, and effects of the treatment. Don’t procrastinate on the issue. Call medical malpractice attorney Adele van der Walt to help you through the legal process anywhere in South Africa.
Note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and should not be seen as an attempt to provide legal advice. We strongly recommend that you contact us at Adele van der Walt Incorporated for professional legal advice.