What is an affidavit of merit in medical malpractice?

When a doctor or any medical professional makes a mistake that results in harming the patient, it is a case of medical malpractice that needs to be handled by an expert medical negligence attorney in Miami. While talking about such cases, there are a few terms that one must know about, this article is a step to explain one such term: Affidavit of merit.

What is affidavit of merit?

An affidavit of merit is a requirement in a medical malpractice case in many States of America. It is a by-product of the reforms that were brought about in tort laws. It is there in place to give some relaxation to the plaintiff and can be seen as a procedural hoop that is supposed to help them jump through as it helps in avoiding frivolous cases from being presented in front of a court and thus save a lot of hassle.

It is an affidavit that is required to be submitted with the lawsuit and is a sworn statement. In this statement, a medical witness mentions that your particular claim meets the threshold requirements and there indeed was wrongdoing involved.

What should it cover?

An affidavit of merit is not a requirement in every state but you will need one in almost about a half of the states. The language which is supposed to be in the affidavit is different in each state, however, there are three most important things which must be covered in it.

  • The expert has thoroughly reviewed your case.
  • The expert who is signing the affidavit needs to be of the same qualification and in the same medical field as the defendant who has provided the medical care that is in question.
  • The expert needs to be of the opinion that there is merit to your case and the person that provided the medical care to you did not follow the standard of medical care and somebody else could have given the better services.

What if you don’t submit one?

If you live in a state where an affidavit of merit is a requirement then it is necessary for it to be done as it might even lead to the dismissal of your case. However, a majority of the states give the plaintiff 90 days after the initial complaint to submit this paper, and if the court finds it feasible it can even give you some extra time.