If you work in the medical community, you are generally held to higher standards of care than other people. Because medical malpractice claims require higher standards of care, they must be accompanied by a Certificate of Merit. A Certificate of Merit makes it known that the plaintiff’s attorney reviewed the facts surrounding the case, consulted with a medical expert, and concluded that the claim has merit. In doing this, the number of false lawsuits decreases in connection with medical malpractice cases, as there are many frivolous lawsuits a year.
What You Will Find in a Certificate of Merit
Each Certificate of Merit is different. However, there is one essential point to all certificates: the person executing the certificate believes that the physician involved with the case went outside their duty of care and a medical malpractice claim resulted due to their negligence. Negligence is extremely important to prove in these cases because it is the basis for all cases. The plaintiff’s attorney is usually the one who executes the certificate. An expert must be involved with the claim if you are hoping to use a certificate in your case. They must be involved in the signing, must qualify as an expert in the same medical field, must review the case, and their opinion must be given in the same way that another expert in that field would give theirs.
It is important to understand how a certificate is filed, because this will be one of the most important ways to get the results you want in your claim. You only have a certain amount of time to file – which is usually up to 45 days after the legal claim was filed with the court. A certificate must be filed for each defendant which means that, if you have multiple defendants in your case, a certificate should be brought against each one. If it is not filed within the deadline, it could result in a “failure to file a certificate of merit.” Unfortunately, this happens to cases every year. This is why it is vital to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law. Call us today at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi for more information on how we can help.