When you are injured or sick and you go to the hospital, the last thing you are worried about is that the hospital could make your condition worse. Such cases are referred to as medical negligence or malpractice.
The main difference between medical negligence and malpractice is that in the former it is accidental whereas in the latter there is clear abandonment of the established standard of care.
The sad news is that about ten percent of all annual deaths in the United States are caused by medical negligence and malpractice. There are many more people who are sick or injured as a result of mistreatment.
Therefore, it helps to know what to do if you were injured because of medical treatment which includes:
Find Another Doctor
The best way to know if your injury was a result of medical malpractice is to find another doctor and get another diagnosis. If it is a proficient doctor, they will clearly tell you if your former doctor was the cause of your injury or ailment.
The first step should always be to correct the mistake made by your former physician. There is nothing more important than your health and you will not be able to conduct any other actions if you are still sick or injured.
If the first doctor misdiagnosed you, then it is the duty of the second doctor to offer the appropriate treatment for the illness or injury. If the treatment was the fault, then the second doctor will go to work on correcting the treatment done by the first doctor which is harder than a misdiagnosis.
The second step will be to obtain your medical records. These records will be indispensable to your case so you should acquire them as soon as you heal from the secondary treatment.
The medical records should contain as much information about the first doctor’s diagnosis and treatment. The records should include information about the actions the doctor took to address your symptoms, what corrective action was taken and which medication was prescribed.
The best move would be to obtain the medical records before you begin filing a medical malpractice claim. Otherwise, the medical institution or doctor that mistreated you could alter the medical records to suit their case. Though illegal, some doctors and facilities will risk it to reduce their liability.
Get a Lawyer
After you have obtained the necessary medical records, it is time for you to get some legal representation. A lawyer will be vital in helping you argue your case and receive adequate compensation.
Attorneys specialize in various aspects of the law. For a medical malpractice case, you will want a personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorney should have handled personal injury cases in the past.
Medical malpractice cases are very complex so your chances of success are slim to none without a lawyer. You should schedule a consultation in which you should ask as many questions as possible and find out as much as you can about the attorney.
Ensure you provide the attorney with all the documents he/she requires which is why it is better to obtain them before filing your claim. Once you do, you can focus on recuperating from your injuries while your attorney works on the legal aspects of your case.
A crucial yet often ignored part of filing a medical malpractice suit is staying silent. You should absolutely refrain from contacting the doctor or hospital guilty of mistreating you and causing your injury.
You should avoid saying anything about the case to anyone whether directly or indirectly. The other party can find out about the suit even on a private social media account.
There is bound to be contacted from the other side particularly by lawyers or insurance investigators. Have your attorney talk to them and say absolutely nothing even when pressed.
Keep a Journal
There will be a moment when you realize that your injury might be the result of treatment by your doctor. from that point on you should have a record of your health.
You can do that by keeping a journal of your health. Write down notes about how you feel including the symptoms and the effects of the medical error on your life. Write down every day about your condition and several entries a day would be even better.
If your injury does not allow you to write, you can record videos or audio clips of your descriptions. The entries to your journal will be valuable evidence that will help you argue your case.
If you believe that you were injured as a result of medical negligence or malpractice, follow the tips above and you should be in a good position to argue your case. Contact an attorney as soon as you can. Remember that your health is the most important thing to address.