According to a reliable estimate, 10 out of 100 deaths in the United States result from medical malpractice. That is a frightening statistic and conveys that seeking immediate action is mandatory if you suspect any medical negligence around the treatment of you or any loved one.
Medical malpractice usually occurs when a medical professional’s or hospital’s provided treatment falls below the expected standard of care and causes harm to you. To effectively and successfully prove medical malpractice, you need to file a lawsuit. It must also be assured that a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional caused harm, injury, or death to a person either by oversight or negligence.
If you find yourself or a dear one in this situation, it can be a very stressful and depressing time. But don’t worry, as we’re here to guide you through the process and help you seek justice. Below are all the essential things you need to do if you suspect yourself or a loved one to be a victim of medical malpractice.
Involve a medical attorney
It is not wise to think that you can advocate for yourself in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
These cases are complex, and only a professional lawyer can help you crack them. Other than that, it is tough to find the time and energy to present a legal case when you’re in the middle of recovering from a medical crisis. For this very reason, it is suitable to hire an attorney who has experience handling medical malpractice cases.
Furthermore, it is essential to note that malpractices occur in numerous forms. Some types of negligence are harder to identify, especially when the patient does not discover the maltreatment until days or years later. Thus, you must ensure to hire a lawyer that specializes in your particular area of concern. For instance, if your child is a victim of any birth injury, hire a birth injury attorney specializing in representing plaintiffs in cases involving birth injuries. They will expertly build the case and file it, alongside gathering concrete evidence and helping you secure the compensation you deserve.
Have a document for everything
Medical records contain a thorough summary of your medical information, lab results, symptoms, treatments, medications, and diagnoses. You, unfortunately, cannot win a medical malpractice case without these pieces of information.
For instance, the medical records may reveal that your doctor failed to read the test results correctly. Because of this slipup, the healthcare provider misdiagnosed your condition and could not provide the appropriate treatment. If you don’t gather these records, it would be your word against the hospitals. These records play a crucial role in strengthening your malpractice case, so it is wise to request a copy of them as soon as you can.
Most medical malpractice attorneys would suggest requesting a copy of your medical records before filling out a medical malpractice claim. It is illegal to modify the information in medical accounts. Still, some healthcare providers do it anyways to avoid charges in a malpractice case. But, by asking for your records before filing the lawsuit, you can prevent this act from happening.
Gather a second opinion
Of course, your health is of utmost importance, so you must consult another healthcare professional or doctor if it comes to this. A second opinion will also help you establish what should have been done in the first place to avoid medical errors.
Additionally, the second opinion will shed light on areas you might not have noticed, further increasing your claims. Also, before doing any treatments at home, consult with another doctor or medical professional to determine all the maltreatments done with you.
Do not reach out to your doctor/healthcare provider
One of your first instincts may be to reach out to the provider or doctor who was negligent – don’t!
Whether you intend to file a claim or receive an explanation from the doctor or provider, it is best to avoid interaction. Not only could it give the healthcare facility the chance to cover the malpractice. But it could also cause damage to you financially, let alone suffering from a medical condition.
Always keep a journal
If you are confident that you’re a victim of medical malpractice, start keeping a journal where you can jot down notes related to your health. Describe all the symptoms and emotions you’ve been feeling as a result of the medical negligence. Don’t forget to explain how the medical error has taken a toll on your life.
For instance, if the medical error made you lose your job, write it all down. Try to write in the journal daily, so there is a record of exactly what you went through because of the healthcare provider’s mistake. Furthermore, the entries are valuable as proofs in your medical malpractice incident, so ensure to write as much detail as possible.
Indeed, a lawsuit against medical malpractice is an uphill battle. It can negatively affect all aspects of a patient’s life, from physical to psychological damages and severe financial shortcomings. However, knowing how to deal with it can significantly lower the pressure. With the ways mentioned above, you can proclaim your rights and finally be at peace.
Just ensure to do plenty of research and choose a credible medical malpractice attorney with years of experience in this type of legal work. After all, many complicated procedural issues arise from medical malpractice cases.