Although the medical industry has some of the stringiest codes of ethics, cases of medical malpractices still exist. Some doctors are driven by greed and spite to cross the line of ethics to earn a little more money.
In 2018, a list of researches from the prestigious John Hopkins University found that about a tenth of all deaths in the US result from medical errors. This translates to around 250,000 people losing their lives every year to medical malpractices, while a lot more suffer non-fatal injuries. To highlight the sheer intensity of the negligence, $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts in 2012, meaning a payment was issued every 43 minutes.
Unlike many other cases, medical malpractices can be quite taxing to an individual. They’re usually very complex in nature and come with a stigma, then challenging to prove to a jury.
Although medical malpractice is a devastating situation to be in, the law has some protection just in case you fall prey. If you’ve fallen victim, here’s what you need to do;
Seek a Second Opinion
As a patient, you are entitled to a second opinion. Although your diagnosis came from a medical professional, yet it is advisable to find another view. Most doctors are willing to have their patients seek another doctor’s opinion; some even recommend it.
When you ask a doctor to confirm or contest your doctor’s diagnosis, it does not necessarily mean that you don’t trust your doctor. It means you’re proactive about your treatment.
Some doctors may list surgery as your only option, while others may recommend less invasive treatment options. Another doctor’s view will help you make an informed decision based on your current needs and situation.
Keep in mind that some patients have lost their lives to medical malpractice– you certainly won’t want to go along this road.
Ask for Medical Records
Assuming you’re already in the care of another doctor and treatment has been started, it could be the best time to hold the previous doctor liable for what they’ve committed. Ask for all your medical records right from the beginning of the treatment to the time you switched doctors. If you have records from your second doctor showing that the first treatment was wrongful, you can keep them as well as they may act as evidence. Some essential records that you may need include:
- Prescription records
- Medical history
- Symptom details
- Tests that were done and treatment given.
Keep a Journal of your Symptoms
Ensure you keep a journal of all your symptoms while your case is underway. You should also include the recovered medical records in your journal. If you experienced side effects upon taking some medication, it is important to note them down.
Your journal should have the following information:
- All experienced symptoms.
- An elaborate explanation about how the medication affected your daily life.
For instance, you may have taken a break from work to undergo treatment that was wrong in the first place. If you note everything down, you’ll have a stronger case in court.
Contact an Attorney for medical malpractice
As aforementioned, medical malpractice cases can get quite complicated. For this reason, you need to hire an experienced attorney instead of representing yourself. A personal injury attorney with a successful history of pursuing litigation is ideal. Before signing a deal, however, it is essential to schedule a consultation with the attorney just to be sure they’re the right fit for the job.
Once you have decided on an attorney, furnish them with all details about your case, however small and insignificant they may look. Also, hand them all the documentation related to your case, particularly the medical records and the journal. This way, you can leave the attorney to handle all the legal aspects of your case as you focus on your recovery.
Do not Make Contact with Other Parties
When your case is on, you do not have to speak with any other parties since your doctor is your primary contact. Be sure not to warn or contact your health care provider about an impending medical claim or simply avoid any form of communication with them.
Most importantly, do not talk about your case on social media as you may expose important details to your defendants.
Medical malpractices are serious offenses committed by rogue health practitioners. Patients of these kinds of doctors are considered to be victims of greed. If you think you’ve suffered due to a doctor of this nature, you don’t have to have any second thoughts about it. Claiming the right recourse through law is the best way to deal with the situation.
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