Did you know that medical errors cause 10% of deaths in the US? Medical mistakes are dangerous, costly, and deadly. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical practitioner, hospital, or any other healthcare professional harms a patient through a negligent act. Negligence might occur due to errors in health management, diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare.
Because medical malpractices are common, it is prudent to understand what you should do if you are a victim. Here are things to do after experiencing medical malpractice.
Find A New Doctor
Health is a priority and should never be compromised under any circumstances. If you suspect a doctor has made a mistake when diagnosing or treating you, it is essential to find another doctor to correct the error. Chances are, the second doctor will need your health records and perform various tests before starting a new diagnosis. The efforts of the second doctor will be geared toward treating the complications caused by the medical error.
Get the Medical Records
The next thing you should do is request copies of your or your family member’s medical records. Medical records play a significant role in a malpractice or personal injury case. It is crucial to get complete copies as soon as you can.
Most states have laws requiring your healthcare provider to provide you with copies of your medical records. You can start the process by reaching out to the medical record department at your hospital.
Medical records contain your medical history, the symptoms you were experiencing, performed tests, and your prescriptions. According to a healthcare fraud lawyer, such information is useful when proving a physician committed a medical error.
It is advisable to collect copies of all of your medical records before filing (or even threatening) a medical malpractice claim.
Keep a Journal
If you suspect that you or a family member has experienced medical malpractice, start jotting down notes regarding your health and treatment. Describe in detail the symptoms you are experiencing after the medical error happened.
Additionally, you should also explain the detrimental effects of medical error in your life. For example, if you missed work for a certain period due to the error, write that in your journal. Try to update the journal frequently to capture all essential information. The information in the journal may be used later to support your medical malpractice claim.
Check Online for Reviews
With all the resources on the Internet, you can sometimes find out whether a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other health care provider has committed previous medical errors. Go online and check whether there are similar complaints. You can strengthen your case by presenting facts of other patients who suffered a medical mistake under the same doctor or hospital. You can conduct your search on medical review sites or social media.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney
Finding a medical malpractice attorney might be a challenge as healthcare providers have spent decades getting state laws passed to cap, reduce or outright prevent claims of medical malpractice. As a result, many personal injury attorneys have stopped representing medical malpractice clients.
Medical malpractice cases are typically complex, so it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney. You want to look for a local attorney who specializes or focuses on representing victims of medical malpractice. The Internet is a good place to start your search.
Get a referral from your local bar association
Nearly all cities have a local bar association to which attorneys in the surrounding areas are members. These local bar associations typically offer a free attorney referral service to the public. In nearly all cases, these local bar associations will also pre-qualify these attorneys before recommending them for specific legal matters.
You can find these local bar associations online by doing a Google search for “[city] bar association.” After you find the local bar association’s website, visit it and look for “lawyer referral” or other similar terms for finding a lawyer. The service should be free and allow you to contact them thru their website or phone. Typically these services will provide you with the names and contact information of several lawyers focusing on medical malpractice.
Interview an attorney
It is recommended to book an appointment with a potential attorney before signing papers to ensure they are a good fit for your case. The initial consultation should be free of charge.
During the consultation, you can ask the attorney questions about their experience and success in medical malpractice claims and confirm they take cases like yours on a contingent-fee basis. When you hire a contingent fee lawyer, the lawyer will pay all fees and costs in your case until you get a recovery.
Don’t leave out a thing when explaining what occurred to your attorney. Don’t skip any detail, however insignificant it may seem. Besides, provide your attorney with the relevant documents, especially your journal and copies of medical records. That will be adequate information for your attorney to start their investigation and to gather evidence in support of the case.
Keep in touch with your attorney to provide them with any additional essential information. After doing so, you can rest assured that your attorney will handle your claim’s legal aspect as you focus on recovering from the injuries.
Lastly, avoid discussing your claim with other parties, such as any insurance company or healthcare provider. If anyone wants information regarding your claim, refer them to your attorney.