A staggering 10% of all deaths that occur each year in the United States are a result of medical malpractice. Far from being a sanctuary of health, or hospitals and doctors’ offices contribute to more than 250,000 deaths annually.
Medical malpractice occurs frequently. If you suspect you or a loved one has suffered mistreatment by a doctor or another medical professional, you may have a malpractice case. These are the steps you can take the following mistreatment to protect your legal right to compensation and embark on a malpractice suit to ensure justice is delivered.
Visit Another Doctor
If you have suffered mistreatment at the hands of a doctor, the first thing to do is ensure there are no lasting health issues as a result of the mistreatment. Find another doctor to correct any medical mistakes that may have occurred and undo any damage.
Secure a Copy of Your Medical Records
Your medical records provide information on any treatments, tests, diagnosis, and medication administered by your doctor. If you believe you were mistreated by a doctor, you will want to begin by securing these records. This is where you will find how your doctor misdiagnosed, mistreated or performed unnecessary procedures on you.
Keep a Personal Record
If you haven’t already, you should start a diary or journal and record any interactions, treatment, follow-up care and any other incidents of notes that might indicate something was amiss with your treatment. This may be useful in court, but even if it’s not, it will help you remember the chronology of the incident and provide dates for important developments you can later refer to.
Seek Legal Help
Even for someone familiar with the law, medical malpractice cases are seldom easy. It is highly advisable to seek legal assistance in the form of an experienced attorney with a significant history of handling complex medical malpractice cases.
Before you sign on the dotted line and decide on who you want to represent you, arrange a consultation to get to know them better and understand how they can help you. This is also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the process. The attorney will likely want to view your medical records before accepting the case. They may work with you to gather more evidence before filing.
Don’t Speak to Any Other Parties Involved
The best thing to do in medical malpractice cases is to avoid all discussion about your case until it is resolved. You never know when a seemingly unwitting comment can be misconstrued and used against you in the court of law.
Don’t engage in communication with the healthcare provider or facility that mistreated you. Don’t tell them of your decision to file a malpractice suit. Don’t publish anything about your case on social media. Don’t speak to any insurance companies that may represent the other party, simply advise them politely that all communication and correspondence must go through your attorney.
These are the first steps to protecting your rights as a patient and filing a malpractice case against a healthcare professional. If you suspect you have suffered medical malpractice in any form, contact a legal professional who can advise you on your case and set you down the path to justice.