Medical malpractice is a serious charge, and one that doctors hope to never take on. In essence, a patient who sues for medical malpractice is alleging that a doctor did not perform at a reasonable standard of care, or in other words, did not act as a reasonably competent doctor would have acted in the same situation. But that doesn't mean that you should sue your doctor for medical malpractice just because you're unhappy with the results of a surgery. Take a look below at three things you'll want to keep in mind before attempting to take a medical malpractice case to court.

Keep Records

Because medical malpractice is such a serious charge, the bar for proof is set high. You'll need to prove without a doubt that a doctor's negligence directly resulted in the damages you're seeking to remedy. If you don't keep records of your treatment, including your diagnosis, you'll most likely be out of luck. But if records show, for example, that a doctor's misdiagnosis led to further suffering on your part, it is a likely a court will find you in the right.

It May Be Cheaper Not To Sue

If you feel that you're paying (literally and figuratively) for a doctor's mistakes, it's only natural to want to sue for medical malpractice -- especially if you find an attorney willing to represent you at a competitive rate. But it's worth remembering that medical malpractice suits involve a host of costs that aren't immediately apparent. You will need to pay for expert medical witnesses, medical exams and untold amounts of copied paperwork at the very least. So make sure that you have a foolproof basis on which to base your charges and that you have the financial resources to see it through.

You Don't Always Have To Settle

All doctors have insurance to protect them from charges of medical malpractice, so if you accuse a doctor of professional incompetence, their insurance carrier is going to be the one paying the bill. For this reason, you will most likely be offered a lump sum to settle out of court in exchange for giving up your right to sue and taking the case to court. If you don't have the time or money to continue the case, taking the lump sum may be a smart decision. But if you're convinced that your case will hold up in court, don't feel obliged to settle. Click here for more information about medical malpractice.