You’ve been injured through the actions (or inaction) of a medical provider, and you believe that you have a solid malpractice claim. Your attorney agrees with you – but there’s another hurdle to pass: The Medical Review Panel (MRP).
What does this mean? Here’s what you need to know:
Medical Review Panels are designed to weed out bad claims
In essence, the MRP serves as a gatekeeper to all medical malpractice claims in the state. The panel members ultimately review the evidence and render a unified expert opinion about whether or not the defendant committed malpractice.
While the decision of the MRP isn’t binding (meaning you can still pursue your claim no matter what they say), it does have a lot of weight and the panel’s conclusion can be used as evidence in court.
The panel itself will ultimately consist of four people:
- An attorney, chosen by agreement by both sides, to chair the panel but not vote
- A medical provider chosen by the plaintiff
- A medical provider chosen by the defendant
- A medical provider chosen by the two previously selected medical providers
At least two of the medical providers must be in either the same specialty as the defendant’s physician or a similar one so that they’re more qualified to judge the defendant’s actions.
Be ready to move on your claim once the process starts
Because either side can request the formation of an MRP once 20 days have passed after a malpractice complaint is filed, and your time limit to select both the attorney-chair and the health care provider of your choice are tight (15 days for each), you need to have a clear idea of who you want in those positions as soon as possible.
When you’ve been injured, it can be difficult to handle all of the hoops you have to jump through to get your malpractice claim started, but experienced legal guidance can make it easier.