If you think you may be a victim of medical malpractice and wants to know whether and how you could be compensated for your damages by the hospital or your doctor, here is the step-by-step explanation of our procedure.
- Contact us for consultation
Call or e-mail us for appointment for consultation in our office. Your
first consultation fee is 10,000 YEN an hour plus consumption tax.
- Send us your data
Download and fill out the consultation form and send it to us in advance
by e-mail, facsimile, or mail with copies of all the relevant documents
you have. DOWNLOAD
If we find that you may have a valid legal claim of medical malpractice, we will propose a further investigation of the case.
- Research and Investigation
Investigation is consisted of the following, and the legal fees are 300,000 plus consumption tax and expenses:
- Preservation of Medical Record
If you do not have copies of your medical record, we may either ask you to obtain them from the hospital or we may request the court to get them from the hospital, depending upon the likelihood that the hospital or the doctor might manipulate or destroy them.
Hospitals typically charge you for providing you with copies of your medical record.
If we choose to request the court to obtain copies of the medical record, we will have to submit to the court a written request accompanied with data showing a probable cause that you are a victim of medical practice. If the court decides to obtain copies from the hospital, the judge will go to the hospital and order them to provide the court with copies of your medical record. We will hire a photographer and accompany the judge to the hospital. In large hospitals, medical records are usually kept digitally, and they would give us a copy in the form of DVD and/or CD. In case the records are kept as paper, the photographer will take pictures of them.
The expense for this procedure includes court filing fees, court messenger fees, fees for photographers, transportation for the attorney and the photographer. The amount of expenses depends on the volume of the record and in what form it is maintained.
- Review of Medical Record
We will review your medical record.
- Review of Medical Books and Articles
In order to understand appropriate medical treatment and procedure for
your injury/illness, we study relevant medical books and articles. Cost
to obtain articles in medical magazines will be charged as expenses.
- Consultation with Expert Doctor
We will consult with one or more doctors with expertise in the relevant
field. The amount of remuneration to be paid to such doctors is 30,000
yen to 50,000yen each time we consult them, which will be also charged
It is very often difficult to find a doctor who is willing to cooperate
with us in Tokyo or its vicinity. In such cases, we may have to travel
to other parts of Japan in order to get an expert’s advice.
- Advice You of Result
We will advise you of the result of our research and investigation. For
example, we may conclude that:
・It does not seem that the doctor was negligent;
・The doctor might have been negligent but it is difficult to prove it;
・It is very likely that the doctor was negligent.
- Demand for Compensation
If it is very likely that the doctor was negligent, and you decide to hire us to demand him/her or the hospital for compensation of the damage caused by such negligent, we will make an agreement in writing in which terms and conditions of our services are stipulated. Legal fees vary depending upon the amount you seek to be compensated.
Here is how we usually precede medical malpractice cases:
- Send a Demand Letter
We calculate your damages in monetary amount and send the doctor/hospital
a demand letter. If the doctor/hospital admits the doctor’s negligence,
we will negotiate with them or their attorneys on the amount of compensation
and how it should be paid.
- Apply for ADR or File a Lawsuit
If we cannot reach an agreement out of court, we will apply for ADR at the bar association, mediation at the court, or file a lawsuit. We may choose to apply for ADR at the bar association rather than filing a lawsuit if the case involves a critical issue that could be adjudicated unfavorably by the judge but the mediators may recommend settlement in our favor.
Generally speaking, medical malpractice litigation is expensive, because in most cases, we need to submit to the court one or more written opinions of an expert doctor, for which we usually pay 300,000 yen to 500,000 yen each.
You should also keep in mind that the probability that the patient wins in medical malpractice case is only 25 percent. According to the statistics publicized by the Judiciary, out of 287 medical malpractice cases adjudicated in 2011, only 73 were won by the plaintiff and 214 were dismissed. And in those 73 cases where the plaintiff won, plaintiffs were not necessarily awarded the full amount of their claim.