Certifying A Medical Malpractice Case: A Lawyer Doesn’t Choose, But Another Doctor Says A Doctor Made A Mistake!


One of the biggest complaints for doctors or healthcare professionals, as well as laypeople, are: Wow—healthcare costs are so high because of all these lawyers just suing doctors! Lawyers just sue doctors and healthcare professionals for no reason and just squeeze out money out of nothing.

I hate hearing this. And the victims of medical malpractice do too.

The largest reason is that no, a lawyer cannot just sue a doctor.

Nope—a lawyer cannot!

A lawyer MUST have another doctor or healthcare provider in a similar specialty review the case and saw that there is merit. This is called a certificate of merit. The lawyer must get this before a lawyer can sue, unless the statute of limitations is quickly approaching and then the lawyer can get a 90 days extension. So yes, another doctor or healthcare professional must say there is negligence.

That is right—a doctor has to say another doctor is negligent. Another healthcare professional must say there is negligence.

So a lawyer is not suing a healthcare professional by himself or herself, another healthcare professional must find there to be merit first. That is huge because all of the complaints about lawyers increasing the costs of healthcare are completely without merit—it is OTHER doctors which are increasing the costs! Other healthcare professionals are claiming there is malpractice, and that is what is resulting in the losses.

Why should victims suffer? What does it matter if a truly harmed victim sues? Shouldn’t healthcare providers be accountable and not be hiding from liability?

A recent study found that true medical malpractice claims are going to verdict and compensating injured victims. Whereas no-cases are not costing money in wrong verdicts. When a doctor says another doctor made a mistake, that is the truest test of medical malpractice—even more than a jury. Doctors policing doctors is the best way to keep the system working properly and honest.

Since doctors do not sue doctors, and they don’t have standing anyway, this is why a certificate of merit helps lawyers keep the system working properly. It also is because a lawyer is not a trained medical professional, and a lawyer needs to rely on a doctor for the standard of care which is important to prove the case.