What to Do if You Think You’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice
We’ve all heard the term medical malpractice. It is a serious problem, resulting in the deaths of more than 250,000 people each year, and thousands of others are left with debilitating injuries. If you suspect you have been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to know that you have options. If your doctor makes a mistake, you can and should hold him or her accountable.
If you Suspect Medical Malpractice, Stay Calm
The first thing to consider is whether or not you have experienced one or more of these signs of medical negligence:
- Unnecessary surgeries or medical procedures
- Ignoring or misreading laboratory results
- Surgical errors
- Incorrect medications or dosages
- Failure to recognize symptoms or to order testings
Find Another Doctor
Always get a second opinion. If you suspect that your original physician made a mistake, you’ll want to find another doctor who may be able to correct the problem before it becomes worse. The second doctor will need to review your medical records to better understand the types of treatment or tests you received and then make an assessment of what you still need.
Request Your Medical Records
Medical records are critical for a malpractice case, so you’ll want to request them from your doctor’s office. These records will contain information on your medical history, as well as any symptoms you may have experienced and ordered testing or treatments. Your medical record can identify any discrepancies where your doctor failed to act properly, such as a misdiagnosis. For example, if you went to the emergency room but were sent home without receiving proper treatment, your medical records will show that your doctor was negligent. It is best to request your records before you file a claim, to avoid your doctor attempting to change the records. illegal to falsify medical records, unfortunately, some doctors try anyway.
Always, always take notes about your health. Whether you personally underwent the problem, or your child experienced a birth injury, write down notes. Document your symptoms, the dates and times of any doctor’s appointments, and the impact of the problem on your everyday life. Make sure to include as much detail as possible, especially things like any time you needed to take off from work related to your injury, and the like. This journal will serve as key evidence in your medical malpractice case.
Hire an Attorney
If you suspect that you have been the victim of a medical error, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible. Schedule a consultation first to discuss your situation and ask any questions you may have. Be as detailed and specific as possible, and don’t leave out any details. You will also want to provide any documentation you have, such as medical records and your journal. This will give your attorney a good place to start. If your attorney should need additional information, they will contact you. Your job from there on out is to focus on getting better.
Don’t Discuss it Online
If you suspect your doctor has been negligent, do not talk about it, on social media, or elsewhere. Your first instinct might be to shout about it from the rooftops, but this can be especially harmful for your case. What you post can be used against you by your doctor’s legal team.
If you do believe that you have been a victim of medical negligence, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible, so you can get back on the road to wellness.