Have you recently had surgery or been treated by a doctor? Do you suspect medical malpractice? Don’t worry, you’re not alone; some 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed in America every year. Globally, the Harvard School Of Public Health estimates that more than 43 million people are harmed in some way yearly due to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice claims range from injuries sustained during treatment or administering of medication, falls, bedsores, misdiagnoses, operating on the wrong site, catheter-related infections, Medical malpractice claims range from injuries sustained during treatment or administering of medication, falls, bedsores, misdiagnoses, operating on the wrong site, catheter-related infections, blood clots and other poor treatment. BMJ Quality and Safety Journal reviewed 49,345 malpractice claims made between 1985 to 2000 through the Physician Insurers Association Of America, and they found 5,921 negligent claims. Misdiagnoses accounted for a third of claims.
So, if you suspect medical malpractice, what can you do about it?
Let’s look at the steps you can take to get your claim accessed and possibly taken to the next level. So, you can get your physical and mental health back on track. While this process can seem daunting, or you may be unsure of where you stand, often just talking to someone knowledgeable can put your mind at ease.😊
Do You Suspect Medical Malpractice? Step #1 Don’t Say Anything To Others
It’s instinctive to contact your doctor, clinic, or hospital when you suspect medical malpractice. You may also get tempted to vent and voice your concern on social media. But the National Law Review suggests that these decisions are not wise.
Why? Well anything you do or say can affect your case in the eyes of the law.
For instance, contacting your doctor, clinic or hospital about your concern can time-date your case. While this doesn’t sound too bad, the problem is that filing a medical malpractice case needs doing within a specified time in some states and jurisdictions. If it takes longer for you to find and then hire an attorney, then your case may get time-barred with it not being able to be presented in court.
Venting on social media is classified as evidence. Can you remember watching law enforcement TV programs and movies where police say to the suspect, “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law“? Well, this rings true for you when you say anything about your medical malpractice incident on social media. Whatever you post may be used by a defense attorney representing the doctor or hospital that you’re filing a lawsuit against. Therefore, it’s crucial that you don’t voice your opinion or ask questions online, as this can leave a trail of evidence.
Do You Suspect Medical Malpractice? Step #2 Request Medical Records
Obtain copies of your medical records. These records will play an essential role in your medical malpractice case. So, you need to get a copy as soon as you can. Your records will contain information about the symptoms you experienced, your medical history, tests performed, and medications prescribed. This information may also substantiate your claim of medical malpractice.
For example, let’s say that you went to the emergency room with chest pain. But you were For example, let’s say that you went to the emergency room with chest pain. But you were misdiagnosed. So, the treatment you received wasn’t for the right condition, and your health deteriorated as a result. When you review your medical records, it states that you have a family history of a heart condition. But the healthcare provider did not perform tests to establish whether you had a pulmonary episode. Instead, the doctor you saw diagnosed you with anxiety.
However, it is essential to note that not all cases will be as clear as the example given. In most incidences, your legal representative will need to dig much deep to build a case if they suspect medical malpractice. Case building can take months and, in some instances, is a complex and lengthy process.
Do You Suspect Medical Malpractice? Step #3 Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases are complex, so it is an excellent idea to hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney instead of trying representing yourself. Look for an attorney who has handled medical malpractice cases successfully in the past. Before signing any paperwork with an attorney book a consultation. This time represents an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have and to check that you work well together.
When you first see your medical malpractice attorney, be as detailed as you can when you explain your situation. Don’t leave out any information, no matter how unimportant you think it is. Make sure you give the attorney you choose to work with all the documentation connected to your case, such as your medical records or a journal you have kept of the experience.
Once the attorney has gathered enough information from you about the incident, they will start looking into your case. If they need more information, they will let you know. From this point on, your attorney will handle the legal part of your case so that you can focus on your health and recovery.
Do You Suspect Medical Malpractice? Step #4 Find Another Doctor
Your health is your priority. If you think your doctor has made an error, then it’s time for you to get a second opinion. By finding another doctor as soon as possible, you can get to the bottom of your health concern faster.
Your second doctor will likely review your medical records, and then they’ll possibly carry further tests before they diagnose your condition. Your new doctor may then begin treatment, or they may need additional information.
Do You Suspect Medical Malpractice? Step #5 Secure The Right Support For A Better Future
While fighting for justice is an ongoing issue, don’t let it stop you enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Consequently, you will need to make adjustments to your lifestyle to adapt to any changes that this situation causes. So, whether you’re fighting medical malpractice on behalf of a loved one or for your own injuries finding the right support early on can mean the difference between you coping well with changes or you finding it difficult to cope. If you’re finding it challenging to care for an aging loved one, then seek out support. Often hiring a caregiver for elderly loved ones can provide the best long-term solution, especially if you’re responsible for caring for these family members and you suspect medical malpractice.
Alternatively, you may require extra support at work. If this is the case, then it’s time to talk to your employer. Being open and up-front right from the start will enable your employer to make adjustments to suit you and the workplace.
Do You Suspect Medical Malpractice? Key Takeaways
- Don’t say anything about your malpractice claim to others;
- Request your medical records from the respective institutions;
- Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney; and
- Find another doctor to help you manage your health condition; and
- Secure the right support for a better future.
Want to know more about living your best life?
Then drop the editor a line and suggest an article topic. InShape News would love to hear from you : )
For similar content delivered weekly to your inbox, subscribe to our feed. For daily updates on leading a happier, healthier lifestyle, follow us on social media: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.